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A Geographical Perspective on Abortion Access in Michigan

Authors: Leah Anderson*, Grand Valley State University
Topics: Women, Human Rights
Keywords: Abortion, Michigan, Reproductive Justice
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Abortion has been legal in the United States since 1973, but it remains a controversial topic and states are enforcing restrictions that regulate abortion and impose limitations to a women’s bodily autonomy. As of 2017, there were thirty facilities providing abortion services in Michigan. Michigan falls within the category of a state that imposes restrictive limitations on providers which inhibits a person’s access to safe, legal abortion and contraception. Pro-life beliefs/ideologies, laws and legal implications, and geographical barriers to abortion providers in Michigan create unnecessary challenges ultimately requiring those who seek abortion to have to navigate complex institutional structures. My research provides a geographical perspective to identify situational, institutional, historical, and environmental factors that may impede on a person’s ability to obtain an abortion service in Michigan. The purpose of my research would be to make this information more transparent and readily available for those interested in learning more about abortion access in Michigan. I utilized ArcGIS to create a variety of maps to display how location and the number of providers have changed over time. My results confirmed that facilities/clinics providing abortion services in Michigan have struggled to keep their doors open and a lack of accessibility remains apparent.

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