Overview

Access to abortion care, a constitutionally protected method or procedure to end a pregnancy, is essential for the health and well-being of all individuals. While there is a substantial body of scientific research supporting both the importance and safety of abortion, many individuals face myriad obstacles to obtain abortion-related healthcare or are denied access to it. Restrictive abortion laws and policies laid down in the name of health and safety do not serve the stated purpose, but cause severe hardship and stress both to those seeking to end a pregnancy and to their families. As a result, black and other people of color, indigenous people, low socioeconomic and impoverished individuals, rural-based, teens, and LBGTQ+ individuals among others are disproportionately impacted to accessing abortion care.

State Laws

Guttmacher Institute, “An Overview of State Abortion Laws”, State Laws and Policies, 1 April, 2022, https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/overview-abortion-laws

Guttmacher Institute, “State Legislation Tracker”, Major Developments in Sexual and Reproductive Health, 1 April 2022, https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy#

Guttmacher Institute, “State Legislation Tracker”, Major Developments in Sexual and Reproductive Health, Targeted Regulation, 1 April 2022 https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/targeted-regulation-abortion-providers

Dobbs Brief

In re Whole Woman’s Health, et al. On Petition for Writ of Mandamus No. 21-962, January 20, 2022

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/21-962_n6io.pdf

Supreme Court of Texas, No. 22-0033 ( March 11, 2022)

Whole Woman’s Health, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. Judge Austin Reeve Jackson; Penny Clarkston; Mark Lee Dickson; Stephen Brint Carlton; Katherine A. Thomas; Cecile Erwin Young; Allison Vordenbaumen Benz; Ken Paxton, Defendants-Appellants

On Certified Question from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

https://www.txcourts.gov/media/1453763/220033.pdf

Guttmacher Institute. “State Bans on Abortion Throughout Pregnancy.” State Laws and Policies, 1 April 2022, https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/state-policies-later-abortions.

Thompson, Alexandra et al., Guttmacher Institute. “The disproportionate burdens of the mifepristone REMS.” Contraception, July 2021, https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2021/07/disproportionate-burdens-mifepristone-rems.

Nash, Elizabeth, Naide, Sophia, Guttmacher Institute. “State Policy Trends at Midyear 2021: Already the Worst Legislative Year Ever for U.S. Abortion Rights.” Policy Analysis, 1 July 2021, https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2021/07/state-policy-trends-midyear-2021-already-worst-legislative-year-ever-us-abortion.

Institute for Women’s Policy Research. An Economic Case for Ending Harmful State Policies. The Costs of Reproductive Health Restrictions, https://iwpr.org/costs-of-reproductive-health-restrictions/.

Additional Information

Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems, second edition, World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, 2012, available at: https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/unsafe_abortion/9789241548434/en/.

The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the United States, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, 2018. Download a no-cost copy of the report at: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/24950/the-safety-and-quality-of-abortion-care-in-the-united-states

See also, Public Report Webinar: The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the United States, Committee on Reproductive Health Services, Assessing the Safety and Quality of Abortion Care, March 23, 2018, at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsTWN947ahE

Introduction to the Turnaway Study, Research on Abortion Care, Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, March 2020, available at: https://www.ansirh.org/research/ongoing/turnaway-study

Effects of Carrying an Unwanted Pregnancy to Term on Women’s Existing Children.” The Journal of Pediatrics, vol. 205, 2019, pp. 183-189. ScienceDirect, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022347618312976.

Abortion and Mental Health, American Psychological Association, June 2018, available at: https://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/abortion

Induced Abortion and Breast Cancer Risk, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, ACOG Committee Opinion, Number 434, June 2009 at: https://www.acog.org/-/media/project/acog/acogorg/clinical/files/committee-opinion/articles/2009/06/induced-abortion-and-breast-cancer-risk.pdf

Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2018 Surveillance Reporting for Abortions in the U.S, 619,591 abortions were reported to the agency from 49 reporting areas. According to the report, 77.7% of individuals had abortions at or before 9 weeks gestation, and 92.2 % had abortions at or before 13 weeks gestation. Kortsmit K, Jatlaoui TC, Mandel MG, et al. Abortion Surveillance — United States, 2018. MMWR Surveill Summ 2020;69(No. SS-7):1–29. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.ss6907a1

World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research. Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems. 2nd ed., World Health Organization, 2nd edition, 132 p., 2012, Sexual and reproductive health, https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/unsafe_abortion/9789241548434/en/.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Download a no-cost copy of the report at: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/24950/the-safety-and-quality-of-abortion-care-in-the-united-states

Committee on Reproductive Health Services. Public Report Webinar: The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the United States. 23 March 2019. Assessing the Safety and Quality of Abortion Care, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsTWN947ahE.

Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH). “The Turnaway Study,.” University of San Francisco, (UCSF), https://www.ansirh.org/research/ongoing/turnaway-study.

Bai, Nina. “As More States Restrict Abortions, Research Points to Negative Health Outcomes for Women, Families.” University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), 22 May 2019, https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2019/05/414551/more-states-restrict-abortions-research-points-negative-health-outcomes-women.

Rocca, Corinne H., et al., Social Science & Medicine, Emotions and Decision Rightness over Five Years: An Examination of Decision Difficulty and Abortion Stigma, Social Science & Medicine, Volume 248, March 2020, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.112704.

American Psychological Association, Abortion and Mental Health, June 2018, https://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/abortion.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Induced Abortion and Breast Cancer Risk, Committee Opinion, No. 434, June 2009, https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committee-opinion/articles/2009/06/induced-abortion-and-breast-cancer-risk.

Cartwright, Alice F., et al. “Identifying National Availability of Abortion Care and Distance From Major US Cities: Systematic Online Search.” J Med Internet Res, vol. 20(5): e186., 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5972217/.

Wolfe, Taida, and Yana van der Meulen Rodgers. “Abortion During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Racial Disparities and Barriers to Care in the USA.” Sex Res Social Policy., 2021, pp. 1-8.

Types of Abortions

Medication Abortion
Self-Managed Abortion
Surgical Abortion

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