You’re not imagining it.
The past few years have been a nightmare for pro-choice America. A new study proves that today’s women have traveled farther and spent more of their own money for abortions. We’re not where we were before 1973 but we’re heading in that direction.
Researchers studied 3,452 cases of national abortion fund pledges to see how far women needed to travel to find a clinic, comparing states with Medicaid expansions covering abortion and more supportive private insurance with states that have neither.
In what will shock precisely nobody, most cases were from the South and Midwest — where more states enforce draconian abortion restrictions. Additionally, the average distance traveled was 140 miles. Gretchen Ely, lead author of the study, agrees that most of the results are “intuitive” but said the data is nonetheless significant.
“No one had ever documented the status of people who use abortion funds,” she told BTRtoday. “We had no proof.”
She and her team saw abortion fund pledges increase between 2010 and 2015, meaning more lower income women need alternative sources of funding. Average distance for travel also rose. Both stats correlate with the upsurge in ultrasound requirements, which have been around since the 1990s but have recently risen in popularity. There has also been an even greater increase in distance traveled for second trimester abortions, which are more restricted than those in the first trimester.
Abortion funds only cover the procedure itself, not related expenses like travel and lodging, and they generally only cover a fraction of it. Women can expect to pay several thousands of dollars and miss work they likely can’t afford to.
This is the first study to prove that abortion rights are truly in danger, not just a convenient target for hysterical media. If the Senate votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, women will face a crisis close to what America faced before Roe v. Wade.