Health

Anti-Abortion Laws Take Toll on Clinics Nationwide

| by Emily Smith
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Despite legal setbacks, the anti-choice movement has closed 54 abortion clinics in 27 states for politically motivated and medically unnecessary reasons since 2010, according to a survey conducted by The Huffington Post.

Unnecessary regulations, or Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider laws, like requiring clinics to widen their hallways, upgrade their air filtration systems and form special agreements with hospitals have led to a wave of shut downs.

Several clinics have remained open only because judges have temporarily blocked legislation that would make them difficult to operate. Nebraska and Massachusetts were able to open only one clinic since 2010.

Since 2008, the median distance for an abortion was 15 miles with one-third of women traveling more than 25 miles in some cases and 31 percent traveling 100 miles or more in rural areas.

Texas and Arizona are the most concerning states, considering they have collectively lost 21 clinics, putting low-income and rural woman at risk.

Texas is expected to have only five abortion clinics by the end of the year.

The survey included state health departments, abortion clinics and local abortion-focused advocacy groups.

The District of Columbia and 21 states were unable to accurately account for the number of abortion clinics because their health departments do not license abortion providers separately from other medical providers.

The survey excluded hospitals that provided abortions.

Sources: ThinkProgress, The Huffington Post