We are three recent college graduates interested in the politicization of abortion access and reproductive rights in the United States. This project came out of an attempt to answer a seemingly simple question:
“Can I get an abortion in my state during a pandemic?”
Despite hours of research, reading news articles and analysis, and poring over executive orders and government press statements, the answer to this question remained complicated and uncertain. Journalists, policymakers, and activists tracking this issue have come to a similar conclusion. Some states have seized upon this moment to ban access to abortion, defining the procedure as “elective,” while others have moved to affirm its protections. But in many states, it is nearly impossible to figure out how your access to abortion services will be impacted. How is a person in need of an abortion, amidst all the other uncertainty and additional burden brought about by COVID-19, supposed to determine this for themself?
We have produced three maps that together indicate whether abortion services were initially defined as essential or non-essential, whether abortion services are now available, and how pre-existing abortion restrictions have affected access. These maps are intended to provide some needed clarity around abortion availability during the COVID-19 pandemic.
That said, these maps are only an initial assessment of the impacts of COVID-19 on abortion availability and accessibility. There are innumerable other consequences of COVID-19 on abortion and reproductive health care access that are experienced inequitably across communties in the U.S. Researchers before us have identified how gender identity, race, socioeconomic status, and immigration status are some of the key factors that affect access to reproductive health. Reproductive health access is inequitable in non-pandemic conditions, and pandemic conditions have exacerbated health inequities. Next iterations of this site will aim to address these critical factors. We welcome any feedback as to how to best address the many factors affecting equitable access.
In the meantime, we hope that you find this website useful. The information used to make these maps is constantly changing and we are working to keep our content current. If you see something that does not reflect the reality in your state, please let us know and we will update as quickly as we can. Any questions, comments, or ideas can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome all feedback and believe in the importance of unity in standing up for our reproductive health care rights.
Charlotte Evans, Tara Gallagher, Io Jones
Meet our research volunteers!
Emma Press is a sophomore at Vanderbilt intending to major in Sociology. Emma got interested in reproductive justice when she moved from NYC to Nashville and saw the major limitations to abortion access in Tennessee.
Sarah Werdmann is an upcoming freshman at Wellesley College who wants to study anthropology. She became interested in reproductive justice when her home state of Ohio began trying to pass the HB 182 bill in 2019, which prohibited abortion insurance coverage.