How far Austinites could have to go for an abortion
Austinites will likely soon have to drive more than 540 miles — one way — to have an abortion in the U.S.
From Austin, the nearest legal abortion clinic, once abortion-ban trigger laws in Texas and other states take effect, will be in Wichita, Kansas.
- In a 2017 Toyota Corolla, the 18-hour round-trip would cost roughly $140 in gas alone.
- Greyhound bus one-way tickets start at about $130 from Austin to Wichita and take about 12 hours.
- An Amtrak train starts at $94 each way and takes about 15 hours.
Alternatively, people seeking abortions could travel by airplane to states in which the procedure remains a protected right — but tickets that are already expensive because of inflation and the high cost of fuel would be even more so if purchased in a hurry.
- Other dollars-and-cents costs include lodging, child care and time off work.
By the numbers: In 2019, there were more than 57,000 abortions in Texas, according to the CDC. About 378,000 babies were born in the state that year.
Of note: Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas — three of the four states that border Texas — have in place trigger laws that ban abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling.
- New Mexico is the only neighboring state that has codified the right to abortion, and the drive from Austin to an abortion clinic in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, is about 590 miles.
- That might end up the nearest U.S. clinic if Kansas voters decide in early August that the right to an abortion is not protected by the state's constitution.
Zoom out: Mexico's Supreme Court decriminalized abortion last year, and the state of Coahuila, which borders Texas, allows for some abortions.
- The Coahuila border town of Piedras Negras is about 225 miles from Austin; its biggest city, Saltillo, is 420 miles from Austin.
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