Unpacking the Burden

Changes in the makeup of the Supreme Court from 2018 to 2020 enabled a decades long strategy of anti-abortion activists to be realized. These efforts have culminated in the loss of constitutional protections for women seeking safe and legal abortionsShow me more.


The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health significantly reduced federal protections for the right to safely and legally end a pregnancy. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 23 states had “trigger” bans designed to restrict abortions after the Supreme Court removed federal constitutional protection.[2] These trigger bans took effect immediately after the ruling was passed down from the court.


This landscape is has been further complicated by state and federal governments targeting insurance Show me more plans, in some cases completely restricting abortion coverage. Additionally, even if a state has very favorable reproductive freedom laws, the laws are typically structured to provide an exception for religiously affiliated hospitalsShow me more. These exceptions can have a large effect on access to abortion even in heavily metropolitan areas with liberal abortion laws.


The result of these strategic moves has been fewer available clinicsShow me more for women to access safe and legal abortions, even prior to the Dobbs ruling.[3] Some women must travel long distances to access care, increasing travel costs and lost wages. This burden disproportionally weighs on women dependent on public transportationShow me more.

1.Nadine El-bawab, Idaho Abortion Ban Temporarily Blocked Weeks Before Set to Take Effect, abcNews.com (April 8, 2022). https://abcnews.go.com/US/planned-parenthood-sues-idaho-abortion-ban/story?id=83784061

2. Guttmacher Institute, Abortion Policy in the Absence of Roe, (June 1, 2022). https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/abortion-policy-absence-roe

3.Elizabeth Nash and Joerg Dreweke, The U.S. Abortion Rate Continues to Drop: Once Again, State Abortion Restrictions Are Not the Main Drive, (September 18, 2019). https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2019/09/us-abortion-rate-continues-drop-once-again-state-abortion-restrictions-are-not-main