Access to health care in states that heavily restrict abortion
Since abortion was legalized in the United States in 1973, states have created hundreds of laws limiting whether, when, and under what circumstances a woman may obtain an abortion. In recent years, abortion restrictions have begun passing at an alarming rate. Anti-choice policymakers claim these laws are necessary to protect the health and well-being of women, their pregnancies, and their children. Given that claims of concern for health and well-being appear to drive the success of anti-choice policy efforts, we decided to evaluate these claims, and their impact on women, in collaboration with the Center for Reproductive Rights.
We aimed to determine if the concern that anti-choice policymakers say they have for women, their pregnancies, and their children translates into the passage of state policies known to improve the health and well-being of women and children, or into improved state-level health outcomes for women and children. We also examined how states with relatively few abortion restrictions fare in terms of women’s and children’s health policies and outcomes.
We first examined state-level policies and outcomes related to the well-being of women and children. We then determined what, if any, relationship exists between those policies and outcomes and state-level restrictions on abortion. We also conducted in-depth interviews with women who obtained abortions in Arizona, Kansas, and Oklahoma. During the interviews, we asked women about their experiences navigating abortion restrictions and obtaining general, prenatal, and child health care.