What abortion access might look like in a post-Roe America

If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, more than 20 states — home to roughly half the country’s population — are likely to outlaw nearly all abortions. For women living in Mississippi, the closest place to receive a legal abortion might then be Illinois.

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Yet the number of abortions performed in the U.S. would fall by much less than half, experts predict. One widely cited analysis, from Caitlin Myers of Middlebury College, estimates that the decline in legal abortions will be about 13 percent. The number of all abortions — including illegal abortions, like those using medications sent by mail to places with bans — will probably decline by even less.

I find these numbers surprising. The Supreme Court appears to be on the cusp of revolutionizing the country’s abortion laws while having a more modest effect on abortion rates.

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