Researchers who looked at data from Massachusetts Planned Parenthood clinics from 2018 through October, 2022 found a small but significant increase in the number of people coming into Massachusetts for abortions following the Supreme Court Dobbs decision in June, 2022, even though we don't border any states where abortion is now banned.
The Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts performs roughly 50% of all the abortions in the state.
The researchers, from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, found that:
After Dobbs, there was a 6.2% (95% PI, 0.3%-12.9%) increase in the total number of abortions above the expected, equivalent to an estimated 190 additional abortions overall. During that period, there was an estimated 37.5% (95% PI, 7.8%-79.4%) increase in the number of abortions among out-of-state residents above expected, an estimated 45 additional abortions among out-of-state residents.
Although we cannot rule out that these results were not associated with Dobbs, the rapid and disproportionate increase in out-of-state patients at the largest provider of abortion care in Massachusetts may reflect initial changes associated with the Dobbs decision in states distant from restrictive states.
They said tracking the numbers becomes critical because it can "help the abortion service infrastructure adapt to the new legal landscape and provide supportive, prompt access for all patients seeking abortion regardless of their state of residence."