Out- of- State Cases Flock to Washington for revocations 

Image credits: opb.org

United States: Many women from the different parts of United States are visiting Washington amidst the strict state abortion laws as this is getting a matter of concern that the number of women visiting Washington is increasing for the legal abortions after Roe v. Wade overturned in the summer of 2022. These women have travelled from as far away as Texas and Florida. 

Study Findings 

The Cedar River Clinics, a network of care facilities in Washington that offers abortion services, were the subject of the study. For the years 2017 to the end of July 2023, data was gathered. 

The outcome: Women from outside the state were involved in 4% of abortions carried out at the clinics before to the Dobbs ruling; nevertheless, between June 24, 2022 and July 31, 2024, that percentage increased to 6%—a 50% increase. 

The survey also discovered that all of the women receiving care at the clinics had their abortions postponed by roughly one week after the Dobbs decision. 

Health Implications and Concerns 

Senior study author Dr. Emily Godfrey stated, “Although a one-week delay may not seem like much, any delays in receiving abortion care are problematic because they adversely affect the pregnant person’s health.” She works at University of Washington Medicine in Seattle as an OB/GYN and general medicine physician. 

Taylor Riley, the study’s first author and a graduate epidemiology student at the institution, continued by saying that delaying an abortion “is associated with increased risk of complications and negative mental health impacts, and later abortion care is more expensive.” 

The results were released in the JAMA Network Open journal on May 29. 

Washington currently has some sort of the strongest protection in the nation which allows women to access to abortion services. According to a university new release, “ because the state has the longstanding laws to protect the  abortion, regulate insurance and also allows abortion by a qualified health practitioner other than a doctor, Washington has actually become a heaven for the people who seeks abortions, especially after 12 weeks.”  

So where are the patients traveling from out of state to have abortions in Washington? 

The data indicated that 52% of travelers were from Alaska, 9% were from Montana, 8% were from Idaho, 6% were from Oregon, and 6% were from Texas prior to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

Nevertheless, as abortion became prohibited in numerous states, those figures were altered. Data following the Dobbs ruling revealed that 26 percent of out-of-state patients had come from Texas, 26 percent from Alaska, 8 percent from Idaho, 6 percent from Louisiana, and 6 percent from Florida. 

Procedure Preferences and Insurance Coverage 

Alaska still protects women’s right to an abortion, but access to the operation is now severely restricted in Texas, Idaho, Louisiana, and Florida. 

In Washington, the percentage of out-of-state patients seeking surgical abortions increased to 72% after Dobbs, as opposed to pharmaceutical abortions. 

Policy Impact and Funding 

“Out-of-state patients are choosing uterine aspiration procedures over medication abortion in order to be 100% certain that they are no longer pregnant when they return home, especially if they live in a state that now criminalizes abortion,” Godfrey said in a university news release.  

According to the data, over two-thirds of out-of-state patients seeking abortions in Washington did so with public insurance, and more than half (61%) of them already had a child or children. 

The University of Washington Population Health Initiative provided funding for the study.