KGOU reports that in 2023, around 4,000 people from Oklahoma traveled outside the state to receive an abortion

Residents of Oklahoma are resorting to traveling across state borders to obtain abortions due to a near-total ban on the practice. A recent study has explored the locations where these individuals are headed.

In its monthly study on abortion provision, the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reproductive health policy, has released data for 2023. The study focuses on the number of individuals in states without near-total bans who received abortions from a clinician.

In the United States, healthcare providers offer two types of abortions: procedural and medication. Clinicians provide these abortions in health facilities, including medication abortions that are administered via telehealth. However, in states where near-total bans on abortion are in place, medication abortions can only be obtained if the pills were dispensed in a different state.

According to the study, a significant number of Oklahomans are traveling to nearby states such as Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Illinois to access abortion services. In 2023, an estimated 4,000 individuals from Oklahoma obtained abortions in these states. It is noteworthy that more than 80% of these abortions took place in Kansas.

The study focused on states where a minimum of 100 Oklahoma residents underwent an abortion. The following is a breakdown of the approximated number of abortions that Oklahomans traveled to receive in these states.

    • Oklahoma to Colorado: 370 abortions
    • Oklahoma to Illinois: 170 abortions
    • Oklahoma to Kansas: 3,310 abortions
    • Oklahoma to New Mexico: 150 abortions

According to recent data, approximately 1,037,200 abortions were provided by clinicians in states without total bans in 2023, representing an 11.5% increase from the previous year. Despite this, Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow) proposed an abortion travel ban earlier this year aimed at those who assist minors in obtaining abortions, although it was not considered by the committee.

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The monthly tracking of abortions provided by clinicians in states without a near-total ban will be continued by the Guttmacher Institute’s study. It’s important to note that the data collected does not account for self-managed abortions, which involve obtaining abortion pills outside of a clinician’s office.

In 2023, medication abortions made up the majority, 63%, of all abortions in the United States. However, it’s worth noting that this figure doesn’t take into account self-managed medication abortions. Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the demand for these types of abortions has increased, particularly in states that have implemented total abortion bans such as Oklahoma.

According to a study conducted in 2022, self-managed medication abortions through the telemedicine nonprofit Aid Access saw a significant increase of almost 216% per week in the state.

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