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The 5 US states where it is hardest to get an abortion

Anti-abortion activists outside Supreme CourtAnit-abortion advocates celebrate with a bottle of champagne outside the US Supreme Court on June 24, 2022. This was the day after Roe v. Wade was overturned.

Steve Helber/AP Photo

  • 30% of women in the USA do not have access to abortion care. 
  • Many people have to travel to get an abortion or order pills online. 
  • Here are the states where it is hardest to get an abortion.

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned in the summer of 2022, almost 30% of women in the USA have had no access to abortion care.

Texas, Idaho, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia have all banned abortions, but people in these states still can  find ways of accessing a termination. 

Many do so by ordering abortion pills online, while others are forced to travel for an abortion.

This list details the states where it is hardest to access the care many people need. 

TexasTexas State Capitol Dome and FlagsTexas State Capitol Dome and Flags

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Texas was the first state to enact a “heartbeat bill” to ban abortion at six weeks of pregnancy (a misnomer because no fetus has a heartbeat at six weeks gestation).

The size of the biggest state in the continental US means that many people needing abortion care in Texas must travel thousands of miles to reach a clinic. This has costs, time, and childcare implications. 

However, Texas is also unique in that it allows civilians to enforce abortion bans through civil suits, meaning individuals can sue people they believe in having given an abortion or just helped someone receive one. 

In March, a man in Texas sued his ex-wife’s friends for helping her get an abortion. 

People who have an abortion can be charged with murder. 

In 2022, a Texas woman was charged with murder after police said she performed a ‘self-induced’ abortion. The charges were later dropped. 
 

Louisiana"Welcome to Louisiana" sign on the state line from Texas to Louisiana on highway I-20“Welcome to Louisiana” sign on the state line from Texas to Louisiana on highway I-20

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Louisiana bans abortions, with the only exception being to save the pregnant person’s life. 

Since many people have had to travel for abortions since Roe v. Wade was overturned, Louisiana’s geography makes this particularly difficult. 

With the Gulf of Mexico on its southern border and anti-abortion states Texas, Mississippi, and Arkansas surrounding the rest of the Pelican state, traveling for an abortion is a lengthy and potentially expensive mission for people in Louisiana. 

For those living in New Orleans, the closest abortion provider is 850 miles away in Wichita, Kansas. 

However, many of the clinics in abortion-friendly states are overwhelmed by the influx of people traveling to access abortion care.

One Illinois OBGYN told Insider, “How do we help someone who lives three states away? How do we help someone that doesn’t have the gas money or who doesn’t have childcare for the children they already have?”

ArkansasWelcome to Arkansas road signWelcome to Arkansas road sign

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As soon as Roe v. Wade was repealed on June 24, 2022, Arkansas enacted a trigger ban that bans abortion at all stages of pregnancy, with the only exception being to save the life of a pregnant person. 

Last week, Arkansas lawmakers rejected a bill to allow abortion in the case of incest and for minors. 

Like Louisiana, Arkansas is neighbored by Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, and Tennessee, all of which have abortion bans. 

The nearest abortion-friendly states are Illinois and Kansas, meaning long, expensive, and exhausting journeys to get an abortion.

OklahomaWelcome to Oklahoma SignWelcome to Oklahoma sign

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Oklahoma is another state that has Texas-style vigilante laws that mean people can be slammed with civil suits for aiding and abetting an abortion.

While Oklahoma remains one of the states with the strictest abortion ban, it is neighbored by Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico, meaning that traveling to get an abortion is more accessible than in places such as Arkansas and Texas. 

However, some people living in southeastern Oklahoma still have to make a 500-mile round trip to access abortions.

In a rare win for the pro-abortion movement, the Oklahoma Supreme Court recently changed its laws allowing for abortions when a pregnant person’s life is deemed in danger by a medical professional and not just when they are in a medical emergency. 

 

 

MississippiLow angle view of Welcome to Mississippi sign, Natchez, Mississippi, United StatesLow-angle view of Welcome to Mississippi sign, Natchez, Mississippi, United States

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Mississippi’s abortion ban makes it one of the hardest states to access abortions. However, it allows exceptions to save the mother’s life and, in cases of rape or incest reported to law enforcement, making it marginally less punitive than other states with maximalist abortion bans.

Women in the southern part of the state who seek abortions at least have the option of crossing over to Florida via Alabama, where abortion is currently legal. It’s a 120-mile drive between Biloxi, Mississippi, and  Pensacola, Florida.

However, Florida only permits abortion before 15 weeks of pregnancy. 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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