Changing Landscape: Abortion Trends in the United States Post-Roe v. Wade

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In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into the shifting dynamics of abortion rates in various states across the United States. Recent data, primarily sourced from the Guttmacher Institute, a prominent organization advocating for abortion access, provides us with a clearer understanding of the changes in abortion rates since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

Abortion Trends Since 2020

The year 2020 marked a significant turning point in the realm of abortion. Our analysis reveals that abortions have seen a notable surge since that pivotal year, particularly in states where the practice remains legal. This increase has been observed across the majority of these states, with some regions even witnessing a doubling or tripling in abortion rates.

The Guttmacher Institute’s Insights

The Guttmacher Institute, known for its dedication to abortion access, has played a crucial role in shedding light on this evolving landscape. By collecting and analyzing extensive data, they have provided the most comprehensive view to date of where individuals are seeking abortions in the United States, over a year after the historic Roe v. Wade reversal.

Notable Increases in Abortion Rates

The statistics gathered by the Guttmacher Institute highlight some striking trends. States that have actively preserved abortion rights, such as Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, and Washington, have seen substantial increases in abortion rates. Moreover, states like Kansas and New Mexico, which share borders with states implementing abortion bans, have also experienced significant upticks in abortions.

A Spotlight on New Mexico

In particular, New Mexico has witnessed a remarkable shift, with the number of abortions from January to June more than tripling when compared to the same period in 2020. This substantial increase suggests that individuals are crossing state lines to terminate pregnancies, especially from neighboring states like Texas.

Isaac Maddow-Zimet, a data scientist at the Guttmacher Institute, emphasizes the scale of this change, attributing it to the influx of individuals from states with restrictive abortion policies.

Methodology and Data Exclusions

It’s essential to note that the statistics presented in this report are based on monthly estimates from a sample of abortion providers in each state. These figures do not encompass self-managed abortions, which are abortions conducted outside of traditional healthcare settings.

Notable State-Specific Findings

Colorado, where abortion rights are secured by state law, reported an 89% increase in abortion rates in the first half of this year compared to 2020. Similarly, Illinois, with its protective policies for both abortion providers and patients, experienced a 69% rise in abortions, with an estimated 44,000 procedures performed in the first half of 2023, in contrast to just over 26,000 in the first half of 2020.

Strategic Clinic Expansions

The aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision saw changes in clinic locations. The Alamo Women’s Clinic, for instance, closed its abortion clinic in San Antonio and opened new facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Carbondale, Illinois. This strategic move proved successful, with both locations reporting a high volume of patients, primarily from states with restrictive abortion policies.

Increased Demand Across State Lines

Notably, patients from Texas comprise the majority of out-of-state visitors to the New Mexico clinic, while the Illinois location serves patients from a broader geographical spectrum. The strategic choice to open clinics in areas with neighboring states enforcing bans or restrictions has significantly contributed to the clinics’ success.

Challenges and Increased Volume

However, this surge in demand has not come without challenges. Andrea Gallegos, the executive administrator of the clinics, highlights the increase in patient numbers, with each location serving approximately 400 patients per month. Additionally, Michele Landeau, the COO of Hope Clinic in southern Illinois, notes that over 80% of their patients come from states with abortion bans or restrictions, and some must travel considerable distances for care.

National Overview

In 2020, more than 113,000 abortions were performed in states that have since implemented total abortion bans, as well as in Wisconsin, where healthcare providers are hesitant due to an 1849 law criminalizing the practice. This accounted for nearly 12% of the national total. However, the first few months of this year reported only 14 abortions in Texas, reflecting the impact of recent policy changes.

Future Research and Data Needs

The Guttmacher researchers acknowledge the need for further data to determine the national scale of abortion rate changes, including estimates of self-managed abortions. While the complete picture is still emerging, it is evident that the United States has seen a rise in abortion rates in recent years, with state-level data indicating a continuation of this trend in 2021.


In conclusion, the landscape of abortion in the United States has undergone significant transformations since 2020. The data analyzed from various states and the insights provided by the Guttmacher Institute underline the complex dynamics at play. As we move forward, it is imperative to continue monitoring these trends, considering their implications for reproductive healthcare and policy in the United States.