DemLabs blog

Abortion access map after trump appointed judge Kacsmaryk bans Mifepistrone

Trump appointed "Federal judge bans abortion pill: What the ruling means for women across the country." - ABC

Kacsmaryk's issuing of a nationwide injunction on mifepristone may impact as many as 64 million women of childbearing age in America
His injunction on mifepristone is nationwide, affecting even states where abortion, including medication abortion, is legal.
Eventually, after supply of the drug dwindles, patients will not be able to access mifepristone from any provider, whether it's via telehealth or inside a clinic.
"This is something that can cause confusion. It's something that can cause fear," said Dr. Gopika Krishna, a board-certified OB-GYN

How would this Republican extremism impact millions of lives? How far would women have to travel? How long would it take to get there? Which clinics would have to close? How much congestion would it cause at the few clinics still left open? Which states are taking away women's freedom to choose when and with whom to have a family? Check this map created by Caitlin Myers, Middlebury College | Lauren Bennett | Flora Vale | Alberto Nieto.

Republican War On Women map

How far will women be forced to travel for an abortion by Republicans banning Mifepristone? Check this map.

How to use this map

The distance women have to travel to an abortion clinic is color coded. Green being short and red being longest.
The thickness of the colored lines represents who many women will be traveling that route. The thicker the line, the more the women.
Abortion clinics are shown as blue circles. The size of the circle represents how many women that clinic serves. A large circle means that clinic has to serve more women.

Four tabs at the bottom of the map show:
- Current status of access to abortion (as of March 2023)
- How access to abortion has changed from March 2022 to March 2023 as Republican extremists forced clinic to close
- How anticipated Republican bans will further reduce access
- How the ban on Mifepristone will force more clinics to close nationwide and increase congestion at the few clinics that remain open

How far must women go for an abortion

Get Started. This dashboard visualizes demand and access to abortion facilities in the contiguous United States. 
In which states do people need to travel the farthest for an abortion? The map visualizes the travel time to abortion facilities. Use the chart to see which states have the highest travel time to their nearest facility. Click on a state in the bar chart to focus on it. 
Which facilities have the greatest demand? The list on the right shows regions (Census CBSAs and counties) containing abortion facilities, sorted by the regions with the highest assigned count of women aged 15-44 per facility. Click on a region in the list to see it on the map. The indicators at the top of the map will update to reflect information for the facilities in the region. 
How does the situation compare to March 1st, 2022? How will it change? The map shows the situation close to the current date. Click on a button at the bottom to compare the current situation with March 1st, 2022, prior to the repeal of Roe v. Wade. You may also compare with a projection of the situation if likely state bans are enacted. 

Abortion access map legend

What if medication abortion were banned?

A ruling by a federal judge in Texas could dramatically curtail abortion access, even in states where abortion remains legal. - Caitlin Myers, Alberto Nieto, Lauren Bennett, Flora Vale (April 10, 2023)

In 2000, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug called mifepristone to be used in combination with a second drug called misoprostol to induce abortions. By 2020,  more than half of all abortions  in the United States were carried out with this protocol, often called “abortion pills” or “medication abortion.” But this may be about to change.

On April 7, 2023, a federal judge in Texas issued a  ruling  ordering the FDA to suspend its approval of mifepristone. The judge also ruled that a federal law called the  Comstock Act , a law passed 150 years ago, prohibits the distribution via mail of all medications designed to induce abortions. Depending on how  how the FDA, drug manufacturers, and abortion providers respond , as well as on the outcomes of likely appeals, this case could have  sweeping repercussions .

Medication abortions rely on  mifepristone

What is mifepristone and what role does it play in medication abortion?

A medication abortion involves the use of two medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, taken orally. It is not a surgical procedure, and the FDA says both medications are safe enough to be mailed to a patient following a telehealth or in-person visit from a certified provider. In most cases in a medication abortion, mifepristone is taken first to block the hormone progesterone. Then 24 to 48 hours later, a second pill, misoprostol, is taken to empty the uterus.

"Mifepristone is a medication that's been on the market for decades. It has many, many scientific articles and research that have supported it's safety, and it's something that is used quite often for abortion care but in other situations as well," said Krishna, also a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health. "Misoprostol is a medication that, again, has been used for many, many years, has lots of good evidence and data supporting its safety, and it's a medicine that we use not only in abortion care but in other aspects of OB-GYN care as well." - ABC News

Republicans ban abortion medication but ignore bullets and weapons of war

Matthew Kacsmaryk - Christian right activist

"Kacsmaryk is one of many Trump appointees to the federal bench who appears to have been chosen largely due to his unusually conservative political views. A former lawyer at a law firm affiliated with the religious right, he’s claimed that being transgender is a “mental disorder,” and that gay people are “disordered.” As Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said during his confirmation fight, “Mr. Kacsmaryk has demonstrated a hostility to the LGBTQ bordering on paranoia.”

Thanks to an obscure rule governing which federal judges are assigned to hear cases in Texas federal courts — 95 percent of civil cases filed in Amarillo, Texas’s federal courthouse are automatically assigned to Kacsmaryk — this prurient man is now one of the most powerful public officials in the United States. Any conservative interest group can find a federal policy they do not like, file a legal complaint in the Amarillo federal courthouse challenging that policy, and nearly guarantee that their case will be heard by Kacsmaryk." - VOX

Matthew Kacsmaryk - Christian right activist

TakeAway: Republican extremists playing judge and doctor are hazardous for your health. Next time, vote for a Democrat!


All editorial comments in this blog are mine, and not the creators of the map.


Abortion clinics by type

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