For some women, the closing of women’s health clinics cause undue hardship requiring women to travel sometimes up to 100 miles. This may lead to an up to 18% chance of undetected cancers.
Studies show how to quantify the closure of women’s health clinics affects the number of women receiving preventive care. In 2011 many states adopted legislation that cut funding to women’s health clinics, particularly those whose organizations were affiliated with abortion providers.
To track the number of clinics that closed, researchers took quarterly snapshots from 2007 to 2012 of the locations of clinics that are part of a national network of women’s health centers. In Texas, the national network received one of the largest shares of state and federal funding for women’s health services.
The data showed that when the distance to a women’s health clinic drastically increased, fewer women sought preventive care. Sadly, women with less education were affected the most by closures. For women with a high school diploma or less, a 100-mile increase in driving distance meant a 37 percent drop in breast exams, 64 percent drop in mammograms and 14 percent drop in Pap tests. This large distance to travel may be financially burdensome to some women.
There is simply no defense to cutting funding in women’s heath care clinics.