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Colorado saw 33% increase in abortions, demand driven by out-of-state patients

Amount of abortions decline nationwide since overturn of Roe v. Wade
Amount of abortions decline nationwide since overturn of Roe v. Wade 01:14

Colorado is ranking among the top three of the 50 states for an increase in the number of abortions from April to October this year.

A study by the Society of Family Planning found that Colorado saw a 33% increase in abortions - landing behind North Carolina and Kansas for the largest percent increases in abortions.

As we've been reporting for months on CBS Colorado - much of the increase in our state, according to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, is driven by women traveling here from out of state for the procedure.  The medical director for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Dr. Kristina Tocce said, "It doesn't decrease the need for abortion.  It just puts horrific barriers in front of patients when they are trying to access care."

Traveling for abortion care is associated with heavy burdens, including delays to care and increased cost, both financial and social; those who are unable to overcome these burdens are left to carry pregnancies to term. Planned Parenthood says for the Rocky Mountain region the median distance an out of state patient is traveling is 640 miles one way to access a center.

PPRM said while the initial influx of patients earlier this year were Texans, clinics are seeing patients from a broad geographic area.  PPRM is trying to expands its infrastructure in the region by expanding clinical hours, hiring more staff, and triaging patients to telemedicine.  But the expansion can't happen overnight says Tocce, "No matter how fast the abortion care infrastructure expands, it's not fast enough.  And there are patients who can't get to us."

The study concludes that the impact of the court's overturning Roe v Wade is not equally distributed. People of color and people working to make ends meet have been impacted the most. 

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