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National report shows uptick in abortion in states where procedure remains legal – Daily Montanan

The Family Planning Association released a “#WeCount Report” that takes a state-by-state look at what has happened to abortion and reproductive rights following the June 24 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned federal abortion protections established in 1972 by the Roe vs. Wade decision was established, dismissed.

That report found that previously abortion numbers by state were relatively stable. After the decision, however, some states rushed to change laws, including complete abortion bans or restrictions on reproductive care. This dramatically reshaped the abortion landscape.

States like Montana, where the procedure is still protected by state law, have generally seen an increase in the number of abortions performed. This became especially true in states that kept the procedure legal, but neighboring states banned it.

The mountain region, which includes Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana, increased slightly from 5,610 to 5,760, a 3 percent increase, since the decision.

However, Montana has seen a significant increase, averaging less than 10 per month before Dobbs’ performance, but the average shoots up to 50 in the months of July and August.

“Nevertheless, the increase in the number of abortions in states where abortion was legal did not compensate for the reduction seen in states where abortion was prohibited,” the report said. “While the overall decrease suggests that many people requiring abortions did not travel to other states, we cannot estimate the number of abortions that occurred outside the formal health care system.”

The report also found that more people using abortion services are traveling out of state, in many cases, but that costs are falling disproportionately.

“The burdens of travel, cost and time are unfairly experienced: People who have low incomes, who have to travel further, and who experience other intersecting forms of structural oppression will have more difficulty getting care, both in-state and out-of-state, ” reads the report.

The report compared data from April 2022 with data from August. Nationwide, abortion has decreased by 6% in numbers – which translates to a drop from 14 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age to 13 per 1,000.

Still, virtually-only clinic visits increased by 33 percent.

States, mainly on the coasts, where the procedure appears to be safe, also saw little or no increase in the percentage of clinician-provided abortions.

Two states, Texas and Oklahoma, were notable for enacting either a total ban or a 6-week ban on abortion. In Texas, there were 2,770 abortions provided in April. By August, that number had dropped to less than 10. In Oklahoma in April there were 510 abortions and that number dropped to less than 10 in August.

Some regions had mixed results. Some of the Midwest, for example, saw no change, despite the difference in state laws like Indiana and Ohio.

The report also found that socioeconomic factors mean that women of color or who are poor face a number of compounding factors in addition to being barred from reproductive care.

“Those unable to overcome travel barriers are likely to be those with the least socio-economic resources; even small drops in the abortion rate still lead to enormous life impacts for those affected,” the report said. “The COVID-19 pandemic and the current economy puts people in an even more precarious financial situation, further limiting the number of people who have the money to pay for a significant unexpected health care expense.”

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