A quarter of all abortion clinics would close in US if Roe is overturned

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According to a study published this week by Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, more than a quarter of the 790 abortion clinics operating in the US will close if the Supreme Court strikes down federal abortion protection.

The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade, which guarantees the right to abortion in the US, is expected by the end of this month. The leak of the draft opinion showed that the court would set aside the historic precedent. In such a case, there are about a dozen states that have “active laws” that immediately make abortion illegal in those places. More restrictions are expected to follow, and even before ruling clinics in some states have ceased or restricted operations. The study estimates that 202 clinics will close across the country.

The study found that despite legal hurdles, more clinics opened in 2021 than closed. There were 790 clinics in the US last year, up from 749 in 2018. The growth included the opening of 32 virtual telemedicine clinics that dispense prescriptions for medical abortions. Under the new Covid-era guidelines, abortion pills are now available through the mail for the first time. As a result, it is currently the most common way to terminate a pregnancy in the US.

There are huge geographical disparities in the distribution of facilities that are likely to only get worse if Roe is overthrown. In the south, for example, there is approximately one clinic for every 158,000 women of reproductive age. This number is reduced by a third in the northeast.

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At the moment, California, New York and Florida have the most clinics, although Florida is expected to further restrict the procedure in light of the Supreme Court ruling.

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