Fleeing oppression: Seeking abortion services in permissive states
Awarded 2022
Inequities in abortion access
Emily M. Godfrey, MD, MPH
University of Washington

Provision of abortion care varies widely among different states due to fragmented federal and state policies. As services become restricted in some states, patients are forced to seek care in other states where abortion access is available. We request the Society of Family Planning research funding to document the impact of Texas’s S.B.8 on abortion care access in supportive states. We leverage our continuing partnerships with the Cedar River Clinics (CRC), a large, independent, brick-and-mortar family planning practice in Washington State, and with Aid Access, an asynchronous telehealth service supported by primary care clinicians in 20 U.S. states that permit telemedicine abortion. We also work with a diverse Community Advisory Board representing underserved community members. We draw on an integrated theoretical framework for patient-centered access to health care to examine four dimensions of how patients interact with abortion health services in supportive states. We compare patient demographics, geographic diversity, patient volume, gestational age at presentation and ability to pay for abortion services before and after the enactment of Texas’s S.B.8. We establish a data monitoring system grounded in a comprehensive framework intended to evaluate equity in patient access to health care. We will be well-positioned to evaluate changes after the Supreme Court ruling is made in June 2022. Our findings inform state policy makers in the supportive states regarding adjustments necessary to meet the influx of patients seeking both brick-and-mortar and online abortion services.