August 2017

Evaluating priorities: Measuring women's and children's health and well-being against abortion restrictions in the states

Thompson TA, Seymour J. Evaluating priorities: Measuring women’s and children’s health and wellbeing against abortion restrictions in the states. Research Report. Ibis Reproductive Health; June 2017.

The 2014 release of Evaluating Priorities aimed to evaluate whether policymakers who claim to care about health and safety when restricting abortion access also direct their energies towards passing evidence-based policies that support women, their pregnancies, and their families, and whether that concern actually translates into improved health and well-being outcomes in the states. Unsurprisingly, the report found that the more abortion restrictions a state has, the worse women and children fare when it comes to their health outcomes, and the fewer evidence-based policies that support women’s well-being a state has. We worked with state advocates across the country to use this data to defend against abortion restrictions and push for proactive reproductive health policies in their states.

This 2017 Evaluating Priorities report finds once again that the more abortion restrictions a state has passed, the fewer evidence-based supportive policies exist, and the poorer the health and well-being outcomes for women and children. The updated research also identified two categories of states: those that have passed seven or fewer abortion restrictions and those that have passed 10 or more. States in the latter category appear to account for a disproportionately large number of the more than 330 abortion restrictions passed in states since 2011. We posit that this reflects the overwhelming influence of anti-abortion organizations that push one-size-fits-all policies to state legislators that do nothing to actually help the women and children they claim to be protecting.