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Just as proximity to reproductive health care increases one’s likelihood to use it, proximity to crisis pregnancy centers increases the likelihood of ending up at one. And yet, until recently, we knew very little about the geographic relationship between CPCs and abortion facilities. So, Carly Thomsen and her collaborators Middlebury alumni Zach Levitt, Chris Gernon, and Penelope Spencer mapped every CPC and every abortion clinic in the U.S. in order to compare people’s proximity to CPCs and abortion clinics alike. In the pre-Dobbs world, approximately 30% of the U.S. population lived closer to a CPC than to an abortion facility, about 69% lived equidistant from both, and less than 1% lived closer to an abortion facility than to a CPC. In the post-Dobbs world, the disparity in proximity has grown substantially. 57% of the population (or more than 185 million people) live closer to a CPC than an abortion facility—nearly double the pre-Dobbs figure. Further, the percentage of the population living equidistant from both abortion facilities and CPCs has dropped from 69% to approximately 42%. And just 0.3% of the general population lives closer to an abortion facility than a CPC, as the following map demonstrates. Proximity to CPCs and abortion clinics manifests along racial and spatial lines. People in rural areas live in disproportionate proximity to CPCs. A greater percentage of American Indians live closer to a CPC than an abortion facility. And the share of Black and Latinx people who live closer to a CPC than an abortion facility is likely to double post-Dobbs. Ultimately, these results urge us to discuss access to reproductive healthcare in terms of presence of CPCs as much as absence of abortion facilities.

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