Using the American Community Survey and the Myers Abortion Dashboard to determine the relationship between geographical polarization and spatial access to in-person abortion access in the United States
Awarded 2023
Leveraging existing resources to document the impact of Dobbs
Eva Dindinger, MPH
University of Colorado Denver

Following the Dobbs decision people in abortion-restrictive states who require in-person abortion care are now forced to travel to less-restrictive states. We know that traveling for out-of-state abortion increases costs, requires arrangements (time off work, childcare, travel), and reduces privacy reinforcing existing socioeconomic inequalities. Residential segregation influences structural racism in different neighborhoods. Structural racism is created by-laws, rules, and practices that are implemented by various levels of the government, economic systems, and by societal norms. It puts Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous, and other people of color at a disadvantage compared to their white counterparts. To measure the geographical polarization and special access to in-person abortion access in the United States will be using the American Community Survey (ACS) and the Myers Abortion Dashboard. Using the ACS, we will calculate the Index of Concentration at the Extremes (ICE), which is a geospatial tool that concurrently captures extreme levels of privilege and deprivation measures racial/ethnic segregation. The ICE has been used as a proxy to measure structural racism in reproductive health outcomes such as pre-term birth and infant mortality. Using the ICE and the Myers Abortion Dashboard we will assess the relationship between ICE scores and distance to the closest abortion facility. With this knowledge, we will be able to identify areas in the US that have abortion clinics that are also geographically polarized.