Skip to main content

Study Predicts More Than a Quarter of US Abortion Clinics Will Close if Supreme Court Strikes Down 'Roe'


Share This article

A new study finds that more than a quarter of the 790 abortion facilities across the United States would close if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision, the case that legalized abortion nationwide. 

As CBN News reported last month, a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito indicates that the court may be preparing to strike down the Roe decision that made abortion a constitutional right in America, according to a Politico report. 

Thirteen states have trigger laws in place that would prohibit abortion should Roe be overturned by the high court in a decision expected at the end of the month, which would shift the issue to the state legislatures. 

These existing trigger laws would close approximately 202 clinics or 26% of all publicly advertised abortion facilities in the U.S., according to a study from Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), a program within the University of California San Francisco's Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health.

ANSIRH conducted the study from 2017 to 2021. The results were released Tuesday. 

According to the study, the total number of abortion clinics in the country rose to 790 in 2021, which marked an increase from 774 clinics when the study began in 2017. 

Even though the study showed the total number of abortion clinics increased over the five-year period, regions with fewer clinics also saw more clinics close down. For example, over that same period, the South had 48 clinic closures along with 25 openings. 

The study noted the number of clinics that provide only drug-induced abortions rose, which researchers explained maybe because it can be provided remotely via telehealth and requires no specialized equipment. Also, COVID-19 guidelines allowed abortion pills to be mailed. 

Among the 2021 facilities, 758 were "brick and mortar" facilities, while 32 were virtual telehealth facilities.

However, the rise in medication abortion provision and medication-abortion-only clinics occurred in the regions that already had the most clinics.

The number and distribution of abortion-providing facilities varied dramatically by geographic region and state, with some states having only one facility and one state having 168 of them. 

The study's researchers also found the number of facilities offering procedural abortion decreased from 538 in 2017 to 473 in 2021. That same year, a total of 9 states had 2 or fewer facilities, while 6 states had only one facility (Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming).

***Please sign up for CBN Newsletters and download the CBN News app to ensure you keep receiving the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***

Among all U.S. states, California had the most abortion facilities, with 168 open facilities as of 2021, followed by New York (89) and Florida (55). 

California alone had more abortion facilities than the 34 states with the fewest number of them combined and nearly as many clinics as could be found in the entire South, according to the study

As CBN News has reported, California is moving to dramatically expand and fund the number of abortions performed in the state. It is nationally known for its pro-abortion laws and policies and is positioning itself to serve as an abortion destination for women in states that would implement abortion bans in a post-Roe America.

California has even set up its own advisory Future of Abortion Council, a coalition of 40 pro-abortion groups whose goal is "to Protect, Strengthen, and Expand Abortion Services in California." 

'Abortion Actually Doesn't Solve Poverty'

As CBN News reported this week, as much of the country awaits the U.S. Supreme Court decision, national Democrats are calling for a focus on defending abortion during midterm election campaigns. But some in the party call that the wrong move. 

Currently, there are just two Democrats in Congress who oppose abortion. Some say that's because pro-life Democrats are being forced out of the party due to abortion rights being seen as a litmus test to become a Democrat candidate.

"Pro-life Democrats are really struggling with where the party has gone, so extreme and that's really alienating," Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats for Life told CBN News.

Day believes that extremism such as legislation supporting late-term abortion has possibly led to rebirth within the party.

"We call them unapologetic pro-life Democrats. It is an amazing group of people," explained Day. "We have {state representative} Angie Hatton in Kentucky. We have {state senator} Katrina Jackson in Louisiana. Just this new evolution and really strong pro-life people that's not stepping away from this commitment to this whole life view."

Pastor Chris Butler of Chicago Embassy Church Network is a Democrat running for U.S. Congress in Illinois' First District. He is alarmed at the rate of abortions in the black community.

"I started to see abortion rights and how people of color are overrepresented in abortion numbers in the same way that we are overrepresented in incarceration rates, in drop-out rates, in poverty rates," Butler said in an interview with CBN News. "This abortion thing is not a mechanism for justice. It's probably more of a mechanism of injustice."

While abortion advocates often cite poverty as one reason women terminate their pregnancy, Butler argues against that theory.

"Abortion actually doesn't solve poverty," he said. "Abortion doesn't close income gaps. Abortion doesn't create quality, affordable housing; doesn't create quality, affordable healthcare; and those are the things that people I'm talking to in the district really want to have because 75% of abortions we have in this country are performed on low-income women."

Share This article

About The Author

CBN News