Demonstrators protest outside the federal courthouse in Portland on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, against an anticipated U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe Vs, Wade. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.

New England states saw varying increases in out-of-state patients seeking abortion care last year.

Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, which has clinics in Connecticut and Rhode Island, saw a 68 percent increase in patients who traveled from other states seeking abortion care last year.

Nicole Clegg of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England says its clinics in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire saw a smaller increase of 6 percent. Clegg says the difference is due to geography.

“One in three women of reproductive age are living in a state where there’s no access to legal abortion,” says Clegg. “So, those folks are having to travel, and you know, their preference is to travel by car to the nearest state possible. But that then means access issues in those nearer states, so you find people traveling further and further out, and those states in southern New England are closer geographically to those banned states versus a state like Maine.”

But Clegg says Planned Parenthood expects to see a continual increase in out-of-state patients as legislatures across the country take up bills that could limit access to abortion.