Dobbs Fallout: Abortion Access One Year Later


Dobbs Fallout: Abortion Access One Year Later

June 23, 2023
A photo of a rally for reproductive rights at the steps of the US Supreme Court.

We are fast approaching the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which devastated abortion access in the US by returning the power to regulate or ban abortion back to the states. 

Although Roe v. Wade was never enough to protect abortion rights for far too many people, its repeal was a historic loss for our country. By eliminating Roe’s protections, the Supreme Court has not only rolled back generations of reproductive rights but jeopardized the reproductive health of generations to come. 

Since June 2022, it’s fair to say that reproductive chaos has steamrolled across the country.

The legal landscape regarding abortion is now an ever-changing scene. At present, 14 states have completely banned abortion while 17 others have such restrictive laws that receiving an abortion has become prohibitively difficult. Currently, state governments in Indiana, Ohio, and Wyoming are fighting over whether or not to entirely ban abortion. In Wisconsin, abortion is legal; however, abortion providers have temporarily stopped offering abortion services because of an old law that officials may begin to enforce which bans abortion completely. Some states did take meaningful action to protect the rights of their residents and prepare for a surge of people traveling from other states in search of abortion care. But the need for abortion access greatly outweighs the capacity to provide in those states. Moreover, 14 states—Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin—have lost every single health center offering abortion in the state leaving large swaths of the country with no access to abortion care. 

The uneven distribution of abortion providers across the country is, of course, problematic. Also troubling is the reality that abortion access disproportionately harms those who already face greater barriers to information and services. Approximately 60% of people who need abortion care each year identify as Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, and as of the beginning of the year, seven in 10 Black women live in states that ban or restrict abortion. People of color, those with lower incomes or without documentation, and people with disabilities, in particular, are often unable to travel to receive care. Unsurprisingly, data from earlier this year shows that even though some people are able to make the incredible journey out of state, around 30,000 fewer abortions were performed in the last year. 

The chaos impacts people’s lives every day. Numbers only give a surface look at the hurdles people face across the country to receive the care they need and deserve.  

Over Summer 2022, Power to Decide conducted in-depth interviews with people who sought or had an abortion and lived in states where a new ban or restriction was enacted. Our research found that abortion seekers feel overwhelmed with the process of arranging the logistics required to navigate the increasingly complicated process of connecting to abortion care and services. We also found that people have significant unmet needs for emotional support as they move through their journey. Abortion bans and restrictions are making people feel alone and abandoned at a time when they should be feeling supported and affirmed.

Over the past year, our AbortionFinder website has become a critical resource, welcoming over 4 million visits since June 24, 2022. Our site gives people across the country an easy, confidential way to find their nearest abortion providers as well as practical support, emotional, financial, informational, and legal resources

We created AbortionFinder before Dobbs because we saw firsthand that for too many people, the process of figuring out where and how to get an abortion is confusing, complicated, and overwhelming. And the situation has only worsened in the last year. 

We want it to be easier, and we need your help. 

Spread the word about AbortionFinder. Wear and use AbortionFinder merch to show that you’re a safe person for people to talk to about abortion. As the ongoing attacks on abortion access grow, we need the funds to continue to provide the information and resources so desperately needed by millions. Consider supporting Power to Decide with a donation today. Your gift will help us fund initiatives such as AbortionFinder and Bedsider, as well as our critical policy work.

Amongst all this chaos we’re continuing the fight to create and support safe and informative resources for people with the greatest needs, and we are reaching out to you for help. Please join us as we build a movement to advance reproductive well-being for all!