U.S. Abortion Clinics Are Closing at the Fastest Rate Since Abortion Became Legal

Illustration for article titled U.S. Abortion Clinics Are Closing at the Fastest Rate Since Abortion Became Legal

Thanks to increasingly aggressive legislation by the GOP, abortion clinics across the U.S. are closing at the fastest rate since 1973, the year the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion procedures. 162 clinics have closed since 2011, while only 21 have opened.


According to Bloomberg Business’ Esmé E Deprez:

No region was exempt, though some states lost more than others. Texas, which in 2013 passed sweeping clinic regulations that are under scrutiny by the Supreme Court, saw the most: at least 30. It was followed by Iowa, with 14, and Michigan, with 13. California’s loss of a dozen providers shows how availability declined, even in states led by Democrats, who tend to be friendly to abortion rights.

Stand-alone clinics, not doctors’ offices or hospitals, perform the vast majority of pregnancy terminations. They account for the vast majority of the tally, which was compiled by Bloomberg News over the past three months and builds on a similar undertaking from 2013.

The financial, physical, and emotional costs of the closures will primarily be paid by low income, rural women who lack the resources to travel for their healthcare. The Bloomberg report states that 19 percent of the closures happened in counties with less than 100,000 people and that 30.5 million women of reproductive age live within 25 miles of the now-closed clinics. As of 2011, there were only 553 abortion clinics in the U.S., as opposed to 705 in 1980 (according to the Guttmacher Institute).

Based on the current state of things, rural pregnant women—even the ones not seeking abortions—might be completely SOL no matter what they do. NPR reports that more and more rural hospitals are shutting down entire maternity wards completely due to lack of staff and lack of funding.

“Each year, about 500,000 women in the United States give birth in rural hospitals, yet easy access to labor and delivery units has been declining,” writes NPR’s Michelle Andrews. “Though comprehensive figures are spotty, a recent analysis of 306 rural hospitals in nine states with large rural populations found that 7.2 percent closed their obstetrics units between 2010 and 2014.”

The decline in rural maternity wards is yet another (potentially lethal) reminder that the anti-abortion fight has nothing to do with the sanctity of life and everything to do with controlling and disrespecting women’s bodies.


Contact the author at madeleine@jezebel.com.

Image via Getty.



I personally cannot deal with this shit anymore. When Kasich defunded planned parenthood in my lovely state I took to Facebook to write about the Hyde Amendment. I lost friends in the process and am currently losing my ten year relationship with my hard right in laws over this nonsense.

Here’s the deal. We have a separation of church and state in this country. Period. If your religious beliefs conflict with abortion that is fine with me. Fine. Then make it your personal choice to never have an abortion. But that’s not enough for these destructive apocalypse craving zealots. They want to forcefully legislate their personal morality on every man, woman and child until this country is reduced to its hellfire minister-lead, autocratic Puritan roots. They see NO irony in their blatant attempt to install a theocracy in this country in spite of our war against sharia-steeped terrorism. I’ve met these people. They are terrifying and literally want to return us to the dark ages. Systematically destroying all of the reforms and hard fought rights women have achieved over the last 100 years is crucial to their plan and abortion is at the forefront of that. I realize I am ranting and for that I’m sorry. I guess watching my rights erode in real time is causing some insanity. I’ll probably be one of the first to be burned when the witch hunts start up again.