Abortion clinics have closed at fastest rate in history during the last five years, mainly in Republican-run states, according to a report by Bloomberg.
About 162 clinics were shut down or ceased to operate since 2011, owing to several legislations passed in 35 states across the US that require the abortion providers to offer outpatient surgical centers and doctors' access to nearby hospitals.
Texas registered the highest number of closures with some 30 centers ending their business since 2013. About 14 centers closed in Iowa, followed by 13 in Michigan. At least 12 abortion clinics closed even in California, a Democratic-run state.
The closing down of the clinics can be attributed to lobbying of pro-life policies by activists, as state regulations mandating safety requirements made it expensive to open and run the clinics, which caused one-fourth of the closures. Other reasons for cessation of abortion services were attributed to lack of demand, shift in demographics, and mergers of units.
According to the Bloomberg report, most of the abortions were carried out at stand-alone clinics, not at hospitals. Auditing and screening of abortion providers for safety regulations also led to closing down of many clinics, as they were not fully equipped to meet the regulations.
Out of the abortion providers that closed or ceased abortion services, only a third were affiliates of Planned Parenthood. About 21 clinics opened in the past five years, three-fourths of which were run by Planned Parenthood.
Five states where only one abortion clinic is operating are North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Mississippi, and Missouri.