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An estimated 4,000 Oklahomans traveled out-of-state to obtain an abortion in 2023

Demonstrators sit on the steps of the Oklahoma Capitol during the 2024 OKC Women’s Strike.
Jillian Taylor
StateImpact Oklahoma
Demonstrators sit on the steps of the Oklahoma Capitol during the 2024 OKC Women’s Strike.

A near-total abortion ban in Oklahoma means residents are traveling across state lines to obtain an abortion. A new study looks into where they are going.

The Guttmacher Institute — a nonprofit reproductive health policy group — published 2023 data in its monthly abortion provision study, which covers how many people in the U.S. received an abortion from a clinician in states without near-total bans.

A clinician-provided abortion includes procedural and medication abortions provided in health facilities, and medication abortions provided via telehealth in the U.S. whose pills were dispensed in a state without a near-total ban.

The study found Oklahomans are most frequently traveling to Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Illinois to obtain an abortion. In 2023, an estimated 4,000 Oklahomans got abortions in these states. Over 80% of them occurred in Kansas.

States where at least 100 Oklahomans received an abortion were included in the study. Here is the breakdown of estimated abortions Oklahomans traveled to receive in these states.

  • Oklahoma to Colorado: 370 abortions
  • Oklahoma to Illinois: 170 abortions
  • Oklahoma to Kansas: 3,310 abortions
  • Oklahoma to New Mexico: 150 abortions

In 2023, an estimated 1,037,200 clinician-provided abortions occurred nationally in states without total bans. This is an 11.5% increase from 2020.

Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow) introduced an abortion travel ban this spring against anyone who helps a minor obtain an abortion, but a committee never took it up.

The Guttmacher Institute’s study will continue tracking abortions provided by a clinician in states without a near-total ban each month. Its data does not include self-managed abortions, where people obtain abortion pills outside of a clinician.

Medication abortions accounted for 63% of all abortions in the U.S. in 2023. This percentage doesn’t include self-managed medication abortions. But requests for those abortions have risen since Roe v. Wade was overturned and have particularly grown in states with total abortion bans, like Oklahoma.

The state, for example, saw a nearly 216% increase per week in self-managed medication abortions through the telemedicine nonprofit Aid Access, according to a 2022 study.

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Jillian Taylor has been StateImpact Oklahoma's health reporter since August 2023.
StateImpact Oklahoma
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