Oct 12, 2021 - News

Colorado central to U.S. abortion debate as access fades

Data: Myers Abortion Facility Database on OSF; Map: Thomas Oide and Sara Wise/Axios

Colorado is quickly becoming ground zero for abortion care.

Driving the news: Now that a Texas law has banned abortions in the state after six weeks, more states are expected to follow, Axios' Tina Reed writes.

  • Large portions of the U.S. — particularly in the central region of the country — already have few to no options within a 250-mile drive, and some counties are at least 350 miles from the nearest abortion provider.
  • The areas with the least access — Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and parts of Utah and New Mexico — ring Colorado.

Why it matters: As nationwide access to abortion providers dwindles, Colorado clinics are feeling the strain of soaring demand.

  • A Planned Parenthood facility in Denver has seen a 520% spike in patients from Texas, 9News reports.

Zoom in: Coloradans on the Western Slope have significantly more access to abortion providers than residents of counties on the Eastern Plains, a new data analysis shows.

By the numbers: Providers in Denver County are about 1.8 miles away, or about an 8-minute car ride on average.

  • In Boulder County, it's 6.6 miles, or roughly 13 minutes.
  • In El Paso County, the nearest provider is 8 miles away.
  • In Yuma County, the closest is in Greeley — a whopping 132 miles away.

Of note: The most challenging area in Colorado to access abortion care is in Baca County, where the nearest provider is 220 miles away in Colorado Springs.

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