Who’s trapped in post-Dobbs America?
Awarded 2024
Traveling to abortion care, post-Dobbs
Caitlin Myers, PhD
Middlebury College

The Dobbs decision catalyzed a profound and ongoing transformation of the landscape of abortion access. By the end of 2023, 23% of Americans are farther from abortion facilities, facing an average round-trip drive of more than 600 miles. But distance tells only part of the story. PI Myers’ Abortion Appointment Availability Survey reveals that many destination facilities, newly proximate for thousands of people traveling from ban states, struggled with surging demand post-Dobbs, leading to extended wait times or no available appointments.
Our project seeks to continue Society of Family Planning funding for this survey, maintaining crucial data collection on the evolving abortion access landscape. We will share these insights with researchers and journalists through abortionaccessdashboard.org and Open Science Framework, tracking and sharing key measures of spatial inequalities in abortion access.
Moreover, the project will combine these data with the CDC’s 2023 All-County Natality Files and use methods like difference-in-differences, event study, and synthetic difference-in-differences estimation to measure the causal effects of distance and capacity constraints on pregnancies carried to term. We will investigate the effects across counties, racial and ethnic groups, and age categories to reveal how social location mediates the response to changing abortion access.
Our findings will help illuminate which groups were trapped in post-Dobbs America and serve as a resource for scientists in various fields, contributing to a deeper understanding of demographic and geographic patterns in abortion access. This comprehensive approach offers the potential to inform future policy and clinical strategies, addressing access challenges.