ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) -- The number of abortions performed in North Carolina has increased dramatically in the wake of the Supreme Court decision reversing Roe v. Wade. New data from two significant national studies, along with additional information released by Planned Parenthood, confirmed a significant shift in where abortions are taking place.
Studies suggest the recent increase in abortion procedures is a direct result of bans and restrictions that have been put in place in neighboring states.
According to Planned Parenthood’s Jillian Riley, “North Carolina is a critical access point for abortion care in the South and Southeast.”
And now, she said, as more states in the Southeast are no longer providing access to abortion care, the focus on North Carolina is greater than ever. She called it a situation “which is causing people to get in a car, travel across the night in order to find the health care that they need, the abortion care that they need.”
Many of those arriving in North Carolina are coming from states that have seen a drop in the number of abortion procedures, including South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Some states, like Alabama, are even recording a 100 percent drop in cases since the Dobbs decision and the implementation of new restrictions. There is no evidence, however, that those women have not sought abortions in other areas, including North Carolina.
Kristi Brown, who runs the Mountain Area Pregnancy Services, has also noted the pattern. Though further restrictions on abortions in North Carolina have been proposed, Brown said that alone will not solve the problem of women crossing state borders to get the procedure. She said she just wants women to know their options.
“We do not believe any woman should get an abortion. We believe that is the taking of a life, and we see the impact of getting an abortion in the women we serve," Brown said.
Planned Parenthood’s Riley sees the situation differently.
“Abortion bans do not keep people from seeking abortion care,” she said. “But they do keep people from accessing essential health care from within their own state.”
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