Study: Abortion rates halve when women have to travel an extra 100 miles to a clinic


Abortion rates were cut in half when women had to travel an extra 100 miles to reach a clinic, according to a study exploring the effects of women’s center closures in an American state.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) there were 41 abortion facilities in Texas’ 254 counties in 2012, but in June 2016, only 17 remained. As a result, the average distance a woman would need to travel in order to terminate her pregnancy increased by 50 miles (80 kilometers).


I was actually wondering if it would be possible to make regulations in whatever state so incredibly strict for abortion clinics that abortion would not be outlawed but it would be impossible for them to be performed. I would have no problem with outlawing abortion the problem is the Supreme Court has a really bad habit of making the US Constitution based on personal opinion instead of precedent.


This is exactly right although I have heard some pro-abortion people make the dubious claim that banning abortion has no effect whatsoever on the abortion rate. Of course that claim is ridiculous.


Then where would women go if an abortion were medically necessary to save their lives? Are regular obgyns and hospital doctors able to do this? Serious question.


Have you seen the ‘Dublin Declaration on Maternal Healthcare’? It has been signed by over 1000. It states:

“As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child – is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.

We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.

We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”


Usually clinics don’t do emergency procedures.

If there were an emergency (and actual emergencies are rare) the hospital would do it. they would not transfer out an emergency patient to a ambulatory clinic.


Okay, thank you.


While I do find this study very heartening…it does also occur to me, and concern me, that this way of reducing abortions only affects poor women, who cannot afford to travel either that extra distance, or out of state - which is what will happen if (we pray) Roe is overturned.

I have no problem with making it more difficult - if abortion cannot for now be outlawed then sending the signal of how abhorrent it is, is a good step - but all this does is make it unequally difficult. I see no reason to let wealthier women (or those lucky enough to live close by) off the hook, as it were, and it deeply concerns me that in our haste to end this evil, we are dividing women one from another with how our laws are written.


That’s what occurred to me this evening, too. It’s those without the access to a car or the time to travel a greater distance who will be affected. They’re the most likely to be doing it out of financial desperation and maybe the most likely to try dangerous home remedies if they do not have access to a clinic.


Perhaps lucky is the wrong word. I wonder how many women who would have otherwise aborted their child but didn’t due to lack of access ultimately regret their decision. It’s probably not zero, but I would imagine it’s pretty close. And that’s without considering the eternal consequences of such a decisions. It occurs to me that the poorer women in this circumstance really are the lucky ones, both for the child that many will come to love and for their final judgement. That isn’t to minimize the very real and significant hardship that families face in unplanned pregnancy, but whatever the consequences of carry a child to term are, the consequences of abortion are worse.


Killing your kid should be dangerous.


I don’t disagree, but if we who wish to end abortion seriously want to ‘win the argument’ then advocating a ‘solution’ whereby poor women are put in life-threatening situations is not the way to win supporters, is it?

Yes ‘lucky’ should be in inverted commas!

I see where you’re coming from and again I do tend to agree - but I think we have to look at political and social realities (for those who do not share our faith, above all), and how our position appears to them. We don’t have to convince each other of the sheer awfulness of abortion both in the present, for those poor children, and in the Hereafter…we have to (perhaps avoiding religious or theological arguments where possible) convince those who don’t currently agree with us. Dividing women into ‘lucky’ ones who are unable (or able, depending one’s perspective) to access abortion ‘services’, and ‘unlucky’ (or lucky!) ones who can, isn’t the way to win this particular argument.

We cannot end abortion by appearing to make life harder for only some women (ie doing/advocating something that could be portrayed that way). Quite simply, it is politically stupid, at best. While there are other approaches (supporting adoptions, counselling, other sorts of education, etc), that undoubtedly have an important role to play, abortion ultimately has to be banned. Just making it much harder for some women, frankly doesn’t play well - it leaves any ban open to being undone again by someone else.


What could ever make an abortion necessary?


It works in Texas!


I know several women who will almost certainly die if they get pregnant again. One is, I believe, practicing complete abstinence in her marriage. I’m not sure about the others and it’s not my business to ask.


No doubt.

But at your convenience, try it say in NYC and see what happens. It’s the places where people currently tend to support abortion “rights”, that have to be changed. Generating liberal outrage by rightfully making abortion harder in Texas isn’t in my view a sensible solution. It’s not going to end abortion, and being happy simply to outsource the abortions of well-off Texan women to liberal neighbors cannot be morally viable (or fair).


Which is why I for one support extra funding (and staffing) for crisis pregnancy centers. Why can’t we get some of those Fed bills?


The more I read this, the more it seems to me that the demand for abortions dropped before the clinics were closed. Not having easy access to a clinic probably has something to the current state, though.


Pity all the abortion ‘clinics’ couldn’t be repurposed by the states which have invested so much money in having them shut down.



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