Given Indiana's highly restrictive policy context with regard to abortion, and anticipated
increases in restrictions, we aimed to measure residents’ experiences traveling out
of state for abortion care.
Between June 2021 and April 2022, we recruited pregnant people who lived in Indiana
and were considering abortion through Google advertisements, abortion clinics, and
abortion funds. Respondents completed a self-administered online survey at baseline
and a second survey one month later. We analyzed characteristics and experiences of
those who reported leaving the state to obtain abortion care.
Among 213 participants who reported an abortion at endline, 56 (26%) left the state
to obtain abortion care. These travelers were aged 15–39 with pregnancies from 6 to
31 weeks’ gestation, 71% were parents; and 25 (45%) identified as Black, 23 (41%)
as White, and five (9%) as multi-racial. Participants traveled to Illinois most commonly
(70%), followed by Kentucky (12%), Ohio (4%), and two other states. The most common
barriers experienced by travelers included gathering money (68%), traveling a long
distance to the clinic (27%), taking time off (23%), not knowing where to go (21%),
arranging childcare (20%), and having difficulty complying with waiting periods and
gestational restrictions, and facing clinic protestors. Facilitators included financial
support from an abortion fund (63%), easily accessible online information (43%), and
financial support from a clinic-based abortion fund (30%).
As more Indiana residents are forced to leave the state for abortion care, investing
in abortion funds and practical support services will be essential strategies for
maintaining access to abortion care across state lines.