Mapping abortion care navigation in Illinois among individuals utilizing abortion funds
Awarded 2023
Leveraging existing resources to document the impact of Dobbs
Katherine Rivlin, MD, MSc
University of Chicago

Little data exist describing abortion care navigation patterns in the post-Dobbs legal landscape. While the Abortion Access Dashboard predicts where individuals may seek abortion care by providing average travel distance to the nearest abortion facility with appointment availability, additional factors could influence such decisions and increase travel distances.

Abortion funds play a vital role in abortion care navigation. When compared to all individuals seeking abortion, those accessing abortion funds are more likely to identify as Black, to be young, to lack financial resources, and to be in the second trimester of pregnancy. The Chicago Abortion Fund (CAF) is a non-profit organization that provides financial and logistical support for individuals seeking abortion services in Illinois. CAF saw a 59% increase in call volume in the last year, which likely reflects the central role that Illinois plays in abortion provision post-Dobbs, given its permissive legal climate and geographic proximity to restrictive states throughout the Midwest and South.

Since 2019, CAF has built a database of grantee demographic and clinical variables. We propose to compare average distance from CAF grantee zip code to location of abortion between those observed by the CAF database to those predicted by the Abortion Access Dashboard. We hypothesize that the observed average distance will be higher than that predicted by the Dashboard. Secondarily, we will measure how these differences are modified by demographic characteristics, pregnancy-related factors, individual preferences, travel characteristics, grantee zip code characteristics, level of care, and timing of abortion relative to Dobbs.