01.22.13 9:45 AM ET
Interactive: The Geography of Abortion Access
In the four decades since Roe v. Wade, states have enacted hundreds of provisions restricting access to abortion services—the majority of which were legislated in 2011 and 2012. In many cases, these provisions, such as mandatory wait times, make it more difficult for women seeking abortions, and in other cases have caused clinics to close. The most recent abortion-provider census data assembled by the Guttmacher Institute dates back to 2008, and found about 850 clinics.
The Daily Beast gathered its own data and called more than 750 clinics, to confirm their locations and the number of weeks of pregnancy through which they offered abortions. Exact clinic locations in this map have been obscured to be neither visible nor retrievable. We focused on clinics and doctor’s offices whose primary businesses are abortion services.
The map below shows the as-the-crow-flies distance to the nearest clinic from every part of the country. Hover over an area with your cursor to see the distance between where you are and the nearest clinic. Click on the “Points of Interest” boxes to read about different areas and see what laws are in effect that regulate abortion. You can also overlay census data showing where the population of women of reproductive age (15–44) live.
You’ll see changes in the number of clinics as you use the slider, which shows clinics offering pregnancy termination at nine weeks to 19 weeks and longer. We chose these parameters because nine weeks was the cutoff for medical abortion—also known as the abortion pill—in most case, and 19 weeks was the ceiling for a large number of clinics. Read the full analysis.
Brian Abelson, Lizzie Crocker, Caitlin Dickson, Abby Haglage, Rachel Krantz, and Sarah Hedgecock contributed to this report.
Sources: Guttmacher Institute, US Census, Planned Parenthood, National Abortion Federation, and staff data collection.