Minors’ experiences navigating to out-of-state abortion care
Awarded 2024
Complex Family Planning Fellowship Research
Anna Chatillon, PhD
Resound Research for Reproductive Health

Minors in restricted access states face unique barriers navigating to out-of-state abortion care owing to their lack of familiarity with healthcare systems and limited financial resources; parental involvement laws may further complicate the burdensome process of out-of-state travel. However, there are limited data on how minors identify and leverage the resources they need to obtain care. Drawing on a conceptual model of patient-centered access to care, this study will qualitatively assess the supply-side features of the abortion care context and minors’ ability to seek, reach, pay for, and engage with abortion care in Southeastern, Midwestern, and Mountain West states with diverse parental involvement requirements. Through key informant interviews with staff and volunteers at abortion funds, practical support organizations, judicial bypass teams, and abortion facilities, we will assess the financial, legal, and clinical care environments that shape minors’ pathways to care. We will also explore pregnant minors’ decision making about parental involvement and care navigation experiences traveling from states that have banned abortion at ≤6 weeks of gestation using in-depth interviews with participants ages 15 to 17, including those who did and who did not involve a parent or legal guardian; we will also interview adults who accompany minors. This study is informed by our conversations with stakeholders and our prior research on pregnant Texans’ experiences seeking out-of-state abortion care. Our findings can be used to improve outreach to minors seeking abortion care, inform strategies to reduce travel burdens, and adjust facility practices to better support young people’s care experiences.