The number of independent abortion clinics nationwide has declined in recent years, while state laws placing restrictions on when and how women can receive an abortion have increased substantially. That has meant that in some places, more women have had to travel -- even across state lines -- to receive an abortion.
An Associated Press analysis of data from 41 states found that nearly 10% of abortions performed in 2017 were on women who had to travel from another state for the procedure. That's an increase of more than a half a percentage point since 2012, the analysis found, but is far greater for certain states.
In pockets of the Midwest and the South, the trend plays out primarily when a state borders another with less restrictive abortion laws. Illinois, for example, saw its share of out-of-state abortions more than double from 2012 to 2017. The increase has been driven in large part by residents of Missouri, where the state's only abortion provider has been under threat of closing after the state health department refused to renew its license. Missouri lawmakers earlier this year passed a law that would ban almost all abortions past eight weeks of a pregnancy, although it’s being challenged in court.
Nearly 480 laws restricting abortion were passed in 33 states between 2011 and May 31 of this year, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights. Research shows 90% of U.S. counties do not have an abortion provider, and for some women the nearest abortion clinic is in another state. Six states had only one abortion clinic in 2017.
Results do not include data from California, Maryland, New Hampshire or Wyoming because those states either do not collect this information or do not report it. The analysis also removed states where detailed data wasn't provided between 2012 and 2017: Texas, Florida, New York state (but not New York City), Rhode Island, Vermont and the District of Columbia.
See the map to find out where abortion clinic closures are prevalent. Use the database to compare abortions by year and how many individuals come to a state for the procedure.