Sep 21, 2023 - News

Abortions are increasing in Ohio

Estimated change in the number of abortions provided by the formal health care system
Data: Guttmacher Institute; Map: Axios Visuals

The number of abortions performed in Ohio has increased 8%, based on a comparison of 2020 and 2023 data, Axios' Adriel Bettelheim reports.

Driving the news: States that are situated near those that banned abortion after Roe v. Wade was overturned in June 2022 saw sharp increases in the number of procedures performed, likely due to an influx of border-hopping patients, per a new analysis from the Guttmacher Institute.

  • States with measures protecting abortion access had some of the highest jumps over the three-year period: Kansas' was 114% and Colorado's was 89%.

Why it matters: Ohioans will vote on Nov. 7 on a constitutional amendment that would protect abortion access statewide up to fetal viability, which could further increase the number of procedures performed here.

State of play: Currently, abortion is legal in Ohio up to 22 weeks of pregnancy.

Zoom out: Abortion is illegal in Ohio border states West Virginia and Kentucky.

  • A near-total abortion ban took effect Aug. 1 in Indiana, which could impact Ohio's numbers going forward.
  • Michigan, which protected abortion through a ballot measure last year, saw a 16% increase. Pennsylvania, where the procedure is legal but not constitutionally protected, like in Ohio, had a 15% jump.

What they found: Patients with the logistical and financial means are proving highly motivated to travel to get the care they need in the face of their states' bans, according to Guttmacher, a research organization that supports abortion rights.

Of note: The number of abortions had been rising nationwide before the Supreme Court struck down federal protection of the procedure, increasing 8% between 2017 and 2020.

  • Guttmacher noted that some data suggest the increase continued into 2022.

What they're saying: Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio doesn't publicly share its abortion figures, but a spokesperson confirmed that when neighboring states limit access, patients do seek care in Ohio.

  • "Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio is — and always has been — firm in our commitment to keep our doors open for all patients, regardless of where they come from," chief medical officer Adarsh Krishen tells Axios.
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