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Kansas abortions rose 57% in 2022, fueled by out-of-state patients

Thousands of patients from Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas sought abortions in Kansas in 2022.
Rose Conlon
Kansas News Service
Thousands of patients from Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas sought abortions in Kansas in 2022.

The state reported its highest number of abortions in decades last year, after the overturning of Roe sent thousands of out-of-state women to Kansas clinics.

WICHITA, Kansas — Abortions rose sharply in Kansas last year as women fled abortion bans and restrictions in their home states following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.

In data released Friday, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment department reported 12,318 abortions occurred in the state in 2022 — a 57% rise from the year prior.

Over two-thirds of patients traveled from other states, primarily Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. Abortion numbers for Kansas residents dropped slightly.

Abortion providers in the state reported skyrocketing demand in the months after the court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision that overturned Roe. Many say they only have capacity to see a small fraction of those who call seeking appointments.

That’s despite the opening of two new clinics, including a Planned Parenthood location in Kansas City, Kansas, and Aria Medical, an independent Wichita clinic geared toward treating out-of-state patients.

Over 88% of abortions occurred in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. 8% occurred between 13 and 16 weeks and under 4% occurred after 17 weeks. That reflects a slight shift later in pregnancy compared to prior years. Abortion providers say patients from states with abortion bans tend to come in later in pregnancy due to the time and resources required to arrange travel.

Over half — nearly 60% — were done using abortion pills.

Abortion remains legal but tightly regulated in Kansas through 22 weeks of pregnancy following a decisive vote last August when voters rejected a ballot measure that would’ve paved the way for an abortion ban.

Republican lawmakers enacted two new laws restricting abortion, including a requirement that providers give patients medically unsupported information that the effects of abortion pills may be reversed. Providers are now challenging that law and several long-standing abortion restrictions in a new lawsuit.

Earlier this week, Attorney General Kris Kobach reached an agreement with providers that the state will not enforce the abortion pill “reversal” law until a court decides whether to grant providers’ request that it be blocked.

Rose Conlon reports on health for KMUW and the Kansas News Service.

The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Public Radio focused on health, the social determinants of health and their connection to public policy.

Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished by news media at no cost with proper attribution and a link to ksnewsservice.org.

Rose Conlon is a reporter based at KMUW in Wichita, but serves as part of the Kansas News Service, a partnership of public radio stations across Kansas. She covers health, the social determinants of health and their connection to public policy.
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