Four Women Reflect on Traveling Out of State for Their Abortions

As a new Texas law restricts access to abortion, we speak to women who previously traveled for such medical care.

September 21, 2021

On Wednesday, September 1, a near-total abortion ban went into effect in the state of Texas, outlawing abortion past six weeks gestation—before most people even know they’re pregnant. Given pre-existing anti-abortion laws that already made it difficult for Texans to access abortion care—including a 24-hour mandatory waiting period, mandatory counseling, and targeted restrictions on abortion providers (TRAP) that previously shuttered over half of all abortion clinics in the state—many will now have to travel out of state to receive the healthcare they need. As a result of this latest law, the average one-way driving distance to an abortion clinic in Texas has increased 20 fold, from 12 miles to 248 miles, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

But people have been traveling to receive abortion care long before Texas’s abortion ban went into effect.