Communities Need Clinics: The Essential Role of Independent Abortion Clinics in the United States

Dec 01, 2020
  • Description

Independent abortion clinics collectively provide the majority of abortion care in the United States, serving three out of every five people who has an abortion. These clinics provide care when and where others do not—operating in the most hostile states and compassionately providing care as pregnancy progresses. Yet independent clinic closures are unrelenting: the total number of independent clinics in the U.S. has been reduced by over a third since 2012.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis have put a truly unprecedented strain on independent abortion clinics in the U.S. With continued efforts to restrict abortion at the state level and an anti-abortion, conservative majority on the Supreme Court, access to legal abortion care is under imminent threat. To ensure that people in the United States can get abortion care where and when they need it, independent clinics and the patients they serve need the support of their communities. Advocates must work to end the politically motivated restrictions and coverage bans that push abortion out of reach for patients, and clinics need direct financial and volunteer support to continue to provide care in their communities.

Abortion Care Network's fourth annual Communities Need Clinics report provides an overview of the care provided by independent abortion clinics, highlights the vital role they play in ensuring meaningful access throughout the U.S., includes clinic closure rates, and discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on independent abortion care providers.