Report: Women from North and South Dakota will have to travel almost 200 miles further for abortion if Roe is overturned

Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 10:05 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A report by the Guttmacher Institute shows that women in North and South Dakota will have to travel almost 200 miles more to get an abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

This week, the Supreme Court is discussing a Mississippi abortion ban. They’re also talking about potentially overturning Roe v. Wade, the federal landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

According to Guttmacher, there are there are 26 states certain or likely to ban abortion if roe goes under.

Both North and South Dakota have had “trigger laws” on the books since the mid 2000′s. North Dakota’s HB 1466 bans abortions except to “prevent the death of the pregnant female” or unless the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. And South Dakota’s law even bans abortion if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. The only thing keeping these laws from going into effect is Roe v. Wade.

Sarah Haeder, the head nurse at North Dakota’s sole medical clinic that provides abortions, says women are already driving hours across the state to get care.

“If you can imagine a woman from Dickinson driving six hours, she has three children that she had to find a place for. And she’s here for two to three hours, and then has to drive six hours home. So that’s a 15 hour day, lots of gas, missed work...” she said.

The Guttmacher Institute says they’ve already seen abortion providers be overwhelmed by women traveling out of state to seek care.

After the Texas ban on abortions after 6 weeks of gestation went into effect-- the institute found that the number of Texans seeking care at a clinic in Tennessee doubled.

“It will definitely throw up barriers for people,” Haeder said.

Update: A previous version of this story mistakenly said Texas had a 15 week abortion ban. It’s a 6 week ban.

Copyright 2021 KVLY. All rights reserved.