Examining spatial inequities in abortion access for Native Americans residing on Tribal lands
Awarded 2022
Inequities in abortion access
Rebecca Astatke, MPH
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Native-Americans residing in Tribal lands face some of the greatest inequities in abortion access. With increased restrictions on abortions and increased funding for crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), access to family planning care is becoming more precarious. CPCs are anti-abortion organizations aiming to prevent low-income people from accessing abortion and contraception; CPCs may delay abortion care and further the agenda of criminalization, especially given the digital divide – the gap in technology access experienced on Tribal lands. We propose to map the spatial distribution of these services, model the travel distance to abortion care from tribal lands, and assess how abortion access changes under various potential changes to abortion policy, such as the overturning of Roe v. Wade. We will use spatial analysis methods to assess travel distance to CPCs and abortion services for those residing in Tribal lands. We will use publicly-available data to obtain locations of: CPCs from the Crisis Pregnancy Center Map, abortion clinics from ANSIRH’s Abortion Facility Database, and Tribal lands from Census Tribal Tract Reference Maps from the U.S. Census Bureau. The proposed study will provide foundational information on aboriton access for Native-Americans residing on Tribal lands considering the role of CPCs. This will be the first study to examine Native-Americans abortion access spatially as well as to consider the role of CPCs on abortion access in terms of proximity to services. The study may provide policymakers with data and motivation to sustain or improve abortion access that prioritizes Native-Americans.