States pushing stricter abortion laws mostly poorer, with worse health outcomes for women

PHOTO: Abortion rights supporters march through the streets of Birmingham, Ala., during the March For Reproductive Freedom, May 19, 2019. PlaySeth Herald/AFP/Getty Images
WATCH Trump suggests some abortion laws may be too extreme

The past two weeks have been filled with activity in pushing for abortion restrictions in four states, with two passing bans and two expected to follow suit.

The laws that were signed into effect in Georgia, where abortions were banned after six weeks, and Alabama, where they were banned almost entirely, without exceptions in cases of rape and incest, are already facing legal challenges -- even as neither has gone into effect.

The governor of Missouri is expected to and sign the eight-week ban that recently passed the state legislature, and now the governor of Louisiana is signaling he would approve a similar bill.

The bans have prompted widespread outcry from protesters, but for those who study abortion laws and trends, the movement in these states comes as little surprise.

"These four states have been marching down this road for a very long time," said Elizabeth Nash, a senior policy analyst for the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights research group that was initially formed under Planned Parenthood but has been operating separately for years.

"They pass abortion restrictions nearly every year, and this would be the year to capitalize on that momentum by passing abortion bans," Nash told ABC News.

Other than their propensity to pass abortion restrictions, the states don't all fall in line when it comes to certain relevant statistics.

Three are run by Republican governors, but one is led by a Democrat. Three have higher poverty levels than the national average of 14.6%, and one is just under. One state has one abortion clinic, two have a few more and one has 17 clinics.

One unifying factor is their political voting record, as they all were won by Donald Trump in 2016.

"Part of the common thread here is that these states did not just enter into an abortion ban conversation. They've been restricting access to abortions for a long time," Nash said.

Georgia

PHOTO: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signs legislation banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, in Atlanta, May 7, 2019. Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signs legislation banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, in Atlanta, May 7, 2019.

Number of abortion clinics: 17 in 2014, according to the Guttmacher Institute

Number of abortions provided: 33,000 in 2014, according to the Guttmacher Institute

Governor: Brian Kemp, Republican

Percent of women in state legislature: 30.5%, according to the Center for American Women and Politics

Poverty level: 15.1% in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

Maternal mortality: 46.2 deaths per 100,000 live births, ranks 48th out of 50, according to 2018 figures from America's Health Rankings from the United Health Foundation

Overall health care: 39th out of 50 states, according to U.S. News and World Report

Alabama

PHOTO: People walk to the Alabama State Capitol during the March for Reproductive Freedom against the states new abortion law, the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, in Montgomery, Alabama, May 19, 2019. Michael Spooneybarger/Reuters
People walk to the Alabama State Capitol during the March for Reproductive Freedom against the state's new abortion law, the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, in Montgomery, Alabama, May 19, 2019.

Number of abortion clinics: 5 in 2019, according to the Guttmacher Institute

Number of abortions provided in state: 8,020 in 2014, according to the Guttmacher Institute

Governor: Kay Ivey, Republican

Percent of women in state legislature: 15.7%, according to the Center for American Women and Politics

Poverty level: 16.9% in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

Maternal mortality: 11.9 deaths per 100,000 live births, ranks 7th out of 50, according to 2018 figures from America's Health Rankings from the United Health Foundation

Overall health care: 46th, according to U.S. News and World Report

Missouri

PHOTO: Abortion-rights activists react after lawmakers approved a sweeping piece of anti-abortion legislation, a bill that would ban most abortions in the state of Missouri, May 17, 2019, in Jefferson, Mo. Christian Gooden St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP
Abortion-rights activists react after lawmakers approved a sweeping piece of anti-abortion legislation, a bill that would ban most abortions in the state of Missouri, May 17, 2019, in Jefferson, Mo.

Number of abortion clinics: 1 in 2019, according to the Guttmacher Institute

Number of abortions provided in state: 5,130 in 2014, according to the Guttmacher Institute

Governor: Mike Parson, Republican

Percent of women in state legislature: 24.9%, according to the Center for American Women and Politics

Poverty level: 13.4% in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

Maternal mortality: 32.6 deaths per 100,000 live births, ranks 42nd out of 50, according to 2018 figures from America's Health Rankings from the United Health Foundation

Overall healthcare: 41st, according to U.S. News and World Report

Louisiana

PHOTO: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards attends a press conference in Opelousas, La., April 11, 2019. Lee Celano/AP
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards attends a press conference in Opelousas, La., April 11, 2019.

Number of abortion clinics: 3 in 2019, according to the Guttmacher Institute

Number of abortions provided in state: 10,150 in 2014, according to the Guttmacher Institute

Governor: John Bel Edwards, Democrat

Percent of women in state legislature: 16%, according to the Center for American Women and Politics

Poverty level: 19.6% in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

Maternal mortality: 44.8 deaths per 100,000 live births, ranks 47th out of 50, according to 2018 figures from America's Health Rankings from the United Health Foundation

Overall health care: 45th, according to U.S. News and World Report

Editor’s note: The statistic for the percentage of female legislators in Missouri was updated after it was initially incorrect.