The Daily Beast mapped out all the clinics in the country that provided abortion services and found, unsurprisingly, that they are clustered around big cities and that many women would have to travel hundreds of miles to get to one. They even made the map interactive so you can search your area.
The clearest trend on the map is the dearth of clinics through the center of the country—from northern Texas through Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, and North Dakota. Roughly 400,000 women of reproductive age (between 15 and 44) live more than 150 miles from the closest clinic in this region. The county farthest away from an abortion clinic is Divide, N.D. All of these states except Wyoming require 24-hour waiting periods between the time a woman schedules an abortion and the procedure.
Often, the states with the fewest clinics also have more restrictions. These are six of the many states that recently curtailed access to medical abortion—also known as the abortion pill—by banning telemedicine, a method doctors use to prescribe medication to terminate a pregnancy over a video chat, a convenience to people who live in rural areas.
Since the 2009 murder of abortion provider George Tiller, Wichita, Kans., has been without an abortion clinic of any kind and is roughly three hours’ travel from the nearest ones in Kansas City and in Tulsa and Norman, Okla. Women who visit the Oklahoma clinics will face a ban on telemedicine, while those who travel to Kansas City will be required to get an ultrasound.
What we have seen since the Republicans took over so many state legislatures in 2010 has been a staggering assault on reproductive rights. They are trying to destroy this right by enacting death by a thousand cuts to the clinics that provide it. But there is much collateral damage. Forcing those clinics out of business also takes away birth control services from a huge number of women, as well as prenatal care. In Michigan we have 16 contiguous counties in the upper part of the lower peninsula without a single clinic that does prenatal care. The result will be less healthy babies and mothers and increased spontaneous abortions to women who want to deliver the baby.