Impact of clinic closures on women obtaining abortion services after implementation of a restrictive law in Texas
Gerdts C, Fuentes L, Grossman D, White K, Keefe-Oates B, Baum SE, Hopkins K, Stolp CW, Potter JE. Impact of clinic closures on women obtaining abortion services after implementation of a restrictive law in Texas. American Journal of Public Health. 2016 May;106(5):857-64
Objectives: To evaluate the additional burdens experienced by Texas abortion patients whose nearest in-state clinic was one of more than half of facilities providing abortion that had closed after the introduction of House Bill 2 in 2013.
Methods: In mid-2014, we surveyed Texas-resident women seeking abortions in 10 Texas facilities (n = 398), including both Planned Parenthood-affiliated clinics and independent providers that performed more than 1500 abortions in 2013 and provided procedures up to a gestational age of at least 14 weeks from last menstrual period. We compared indicators of burden for women whose nearest clinic in 2013 closed and those whose nearest clinic remained open.
Results: For women whose nearest clinic closed (38%), the mean one-way distance traveled was 85 miles, compared with 22 miles for womenwhose nearest clinic remained open (P ≤ .001). After adjustment, more women whose nearest clinic closed traveled more than 50 miles (44% vs 10%), had out-of-pocket expenses greater than $100 (32% vs 20%), had a frustrated demand for medication abortion (37% vs 22%), and reported that it was somewhat or very hard to get to the clinic (36% vs 18%; P < .05).
Conclusions: Clinic closures after House Bill 2 resulted in significant burdens for women able to obtain care.