The geography of abortion access in the United States

Illustration for article titled The geography of abortion access in the United States

Forty years after the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision, The Daily Beast's Michael Keller and Allison Yarrow have published this interactive map of America's 724 abortion clinics, highlighting, among other things, the distance women across the country must travel in order to visit one.


Points of interest include Wichita, Kansas (which has been without an abortion clinic since the murder of 2009 abortion provider George Tiller), the last clinic in Mississippi, and what Keller and Yallow describe as "the Panhandle-Dakota Divide":

Illustration for article titled The geography of abortion access in the United States

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.


Check out the interactive map here. (Some tips: zoom out, or click and drag to see Alaska and Hawaii. Try searching for your address, or hovering over the map for a list of legal restrictions for the nearest clinic.) Click here for the full analysis.

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Corpore Metal

Well, I suppose by the afternoon this article will be full of threads of people talking past each other and absolutely no consensus being reached, nothing being learned or minds being changed. All because some geographer figured out a way to represent all this data visually on a map. So let me draw my own line in the sand:

"If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament."

—Florynce Kennedy

And no, I'm not going to reply to any replies to this. I've said my peace. I'm out.