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Since March of 2022, abortion availability has been in decline in most of the U.S.—a decline exacerbated by Dobbs, the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe. Middlebury College economist Caitlin Myers created maps that illustrate the impact of Dobbs. These maps measure, by state and county, the distance to the nearest abortion clinic. The number of women who live more than 200 miles from the nearest abortion clinic is expected to rise from 716,000 to 9 million after trigger laws are imposed, and increase again to 17 million after total state bans. This research is crucial because travel distance is the most important mediating factor in determining abortion access. As state-wide bans go into effect post-Roe, average distances to the nearest abortion clinic are increasing significantly. The longer the trip, the fewer people make it—even if they feel an abortion is in their best interest. Meyers estimates that an increase of 100 miles to the closest abortion clinic decreases abortion rates by 20%. Myers also found that increasing distances required to travel for abortion care especially impacts non-white low-income people, who are less likely to have the ability to cover the extra costs of increased travel than are white low-income women. And even prior to Dobbs, we know that those living in rural areas traveled 14 times the distance that abortion seekers in metropolitan areas traveled. Check out these maps to learn more.

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