Over 170K Travel for Abortions in 2023

(IntegrityTimes.com) – Over 171,000 people crossed state lines for an abortion in 2023, thousands of whom traveled from southern states such as Georgia, South Carolina and Texas, according to reports. The amount of people crossing state borders seeking abortions doubled in 2023 compared to 2019 figures, according to a Guttmacher Institute study. Following the outlawing of abortion in more states since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade in 2022, the amount of state lines travelers had to cross to receive abortions also doubled.

Before Roe v Wade was overturned, over 800 Louisiana residents went to Texas for abortion treatment in 2020. According to the report, more than 14,000 entered New Mexico from Texas for abortions in 2023, and almost 12,000 traveled from Georgia and South Carolina to North Carolina for the procedure. Whole Woman’s Health founder Amy Hagstrom Miller told reporters that women seeking a 10-minute procedure are having to travel for hundreds or even thousands of miles. She noted that nobody had to go to such lengths for any other medical procedures.

Abortion on medical grounds is currently banned in Texas, which has seen the largest number of people leave the state for abortions. Illinois has seen the biggest increase in people seeking the procedure. The issue continues to be a focal point of the 2024 election, and has highlighted the conflicted stances on reproductive rights of several leading candidates.

Former President Donald Trump recently stated that states should be allowed to decide their own laws on abortion, after his position on the divisive issue shifted several times over the last 25 years. He also argued in favor of IVF treatment, after the practice of freezing embryos in IVF clinics was threatened by Alabama’s pro-life laws that led the state to class embryos as human beings in early 2024.

In 2022 President Joe Biden began to focus more on defending reproductive rights, despite admitting his own conflicted views on the issue. Biden, a practicing Catholic, had previously opposed federal funding for the procedure. Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has been accused of being a radical leftist by Republicans and of being right-wing by Democrats, clarified in May 2024 that he opposes late-term abortion. Though Kennedy, who is also a practicing Catholic, has shown a pragmatic stance on reproductive rights, he argued that abortion in the late stages of pregnancy is “basically killing a child”.

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