WASHINGTON, Oct 6 (Reuters) - More than 60 abortion clinics across 15 states have stopped providing abortions since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, according to a study by the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights advocacy research group.
The study, published on Thursday, found that 14 states no longer have any clinics providing abortions as of Oct. 2, which marked 100 days since the Supreme Court gutted the 1973 ruling that had guaranteed federal abortion rights.
In the wake of the court's June 24 decision, more than a dozen states have enforced near-total abortion bans. All abortion clinics in those states - Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia - have stopped providing abortion services.
Wisconsin's providers have also ceased abortion services amid legal uncertainty over an 1849 state ban that took effect after the Supreme Court overturned Roe.
In Georgia, where abortion is banned after six weeks, one abortion provider has closed down, the study found.
Nearly a third of American women of reproductive age now live in these 15 states where abortion is unavailable or severely restricted, according to Guttmacher.
Texas and Louisiana had the most closures, with 12 of 23 clinics closing in Texas and all three of Louisiana's clinics shutting down.
Some clinics in the 15 states surveyed by Guttmacher have continued to provide other gynecological services. But restrictive state laws have forced 26 clinics to close for good, limiting access to abortion and other healthcare services, said Rachel Jones, Guttmacher's principal research scientist.
"If they have to close their doors, that means that community loses access not just to abortion but to other types of healthcare as well," Jones said.
Legal battles over state abortion restrictions will determine the fate of clinics in several other Republican-led states that have tried to ban the procedure, including Arizona and Indiana. Jones said more clinics are likely to cease abortion services or shut down in the coming weeks.
The Nov. 8 midterm election results will also determine the future of abortion access in states like Michigan and Kentucky, where voters will be asked to determine if the state constitution protects abortion rights. Abortion is expected to be a prominent issue in the elections to decide control of Congress, and other key U.S. races.
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