A Bloomberg report from late November finds that at least 73 U.S. abortion clinics have shut down since 2011, and that roughly half of these closures are due to new legislation passed in a wave of Republican-led efforts to restrict access to abortion.
Since 2011, legislatures in 30 mostly Republican-controlled states have passed 203 abortion restrictions, about as many as in all of the prior decade. At least 73 clinics have closed or stopped performing abortions. New laws are responsible for roughly half of the closures, while declining demand, industry consolidation, and crackdowns on unfit providers have also contributed to the drop.
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According to Bloomberg’s map, clinic closures are concentrated in Texas, Arizona, California (not legislation-related), Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, and on the Eastern Seaboard.
Some closures are unrelated to new restrictive legislation; in many areas, providers have consolidated their abortion clinics due to lack of demand or other business decisions.
But some “business decisions” come when providers feel their hand is being forced by a hostile legislative climate. Dr. Martin Ruddock moved his practice to Michigan due to Ohio’s restrictive laws about abortions after 20 weeks. And while Pennsylvania’s crackdown on “unfit providers” closed two clinics that had been problems for years, state officials used the opportunity to pass burdensome laws that made some clinics struggle with renovation costs and even voluntarily close their doors.
Given that legal challenges to closure orders are still pending in states like Ohio, and given the general momentum of anti-choice legislation, the total number of closures seems likely to rise.