It’s Been 2 Years Since Roe v. Wade Was Overturned: Where Are We Now?

It’s Been 2 Years Since Roe v. Wade Was Overturned: Where Are We Now?

By Alexis Benveniste

The landscape of women’s health in the United States has undergone profound and far-reaching changes since Roe v. Wade was historically overturned in 2022. State legislatures have swiftly enacted laws that drastically alter access to abortion services, creating a ripple effect of changes in reproductive rights across the country. This legal upheaval has impacted healthcare delivery, economic stability, and personal freedoms—particularly for marginalized communities. Amidst a surge in activism and advocacy, women and businesses around the country are working tirelessly to navigate and respond to these evolving challenges, striving to protect and expand women's health and rights in an increasingly polarized environment.

Here’s a look at what’s changed since June 2022 and what the landscape looks like now, two years later.

Legal and Political Changes

State Legislation: In response to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, many states around the country activated trigger laws in an effort to ban or severely restrict abortion. Other states, however, focused on passing new legislation to either restrict or protect abortion rights. This has led to significant interstate legal conflicts throughout the country, particularly when it comes to residents traveling to other states to access abortion services. Before Dobbs v. Jackson, the 2022 ruling that took away the constitutional right to abortion, the average journey to a clinic that provided abortion services took between 10.0 to 27.8 minutes, according to BBC. After Dobbs, the time it took to get to the nearest clinic almost quadrupled, with the higher end of travel times averaging at more than 100 minutes.1

Federal Actions: At the federal level, there have been attempts to pass laws either protecting or restricting abortion rights, along with executive orders that are aimed at maintaining access to reproductive healthcare. Judicial appointments in particular have become highly scrutinized when it comes to nominees' stances on abortion.

By the way, the impact of abortion access goes beyond U.S. borders. As of 2022, about 37% of women who are reproductive age (ages 15 to 49) live in countries where abortion is available on request, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights. Conversely, 42% of women live in countries with restrictive laws that only permit abortion for health or life-saving reasons.2

Elections and Campaigns: Abortion rights have become a key issue in elections, and with the presidential election coming up this year, this feels more relevant and important than ever. Legislative agendas at both the state and federal levels are shifting to reflect the changing reproductive rights and healthcare priorities.

Access to Services and Medical Impacts

Access to Services: Numerous clinics in restrictive states have closed or are facing operational challenges. With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, we’re also seeing increased regulations on telehealth services, and more patients are traveling out-of-state for abortions, which ultimately affects both patients and healthcare providers.

Medical Training: Medical schools in restrictive states are modifying their reproductive health classes and curriculum, and there is a shortage of trained providers who are able to perform abortions in the restrictive states.

Since the reversal of Roe v. Wade, more women—particularly those with low incomes and from marginalized communities—have been forced to carry unwanted pregnancy to term. On top of that, states with the toughest abortion laws notably have the weakest maternal support, according to NPR.3

With that in mind, more than half of OBGYNs across the country say they have seen an increase in the number of patients who are seeking some form of contraception since the Dobbs ruling, according to KFF.4

Abortion and Maternity Care

A whopping 2.2 million women of childbearing age live in maternity care deserts— places where there is no hospital that offers obstetric care, no birth center and no obstetric provider, according to a March of Dimes report from 2020. Another 4.8 million women live in counties with limited access to maternity care.5

In addition, women with incomes below the federal poverty line have an unintended pregnancy rate that is more than five times higher than those of women with higher incomes, according to The Guttmacher Institute. They also have an abortion rate that is six times higher than the abortion rate of women who have higher incomes.6

Economic and Emotional Burdens: People who live in restrictive states and are seeking abortions are experiencing emotional distress and financial strain, particularly when it comes to planning and executing travel. This burden is disproportionately affecting low-income individuals and communities of color.

Employment: Some companies have implemented policies to support employees who need to travel for abortion services, and there has been a rise in workplace activism related to reproductive rights. Other companies, however, have been silent on the matter and decided that they don’t want to have input on the topic.

The Legal Landscape

Litigation: There are numerous lawsuits that are challenging state restrictions or defending abortion rights, with potential future Supreme Court cases poised to further define the legal landscape.

Privacy Concerns: There are growing concerns about digital privacy and surveillance related to abortion services—particularly in restrictive states—with fears of data being used to track people who are seeking abortions.

Advocacy, Support Networks, and Polarization

Polarization: Public opinion on abortion has become more polarized and more openly discussed, with increased activism popping up on both sides of the issue. Media coverage of abortion rights has naturally intensified, which often comes with the distribution and sharing of both disinformation and misinformation.

Support Systems: Meanwhile, nonprofits and support networks have grown to provide financial and logistical support for those seeking abortions. Community outreach programs have expanded to educate and support reproductive health.

Educational Campaigns: Public education campaigns are becoming more common, aiming to inform women about reproductive rights and healthcare. This intensifies the conversation around abortion but provides necessary information for women who might need it.

What’s Next

As women across the United States continue to react to and grapple with the aftermath of Roe v. Wade's overturning, the future of women's health in the United States remains uncertain and contested. The legal, social, and economic impacts continue to unfold, and there’s a lot at stake with the presidential election coming up this fall. Despite the challenges, there is a growing movement dedicated to ensuring that reproductive rights are safeguarded and that healthcare access is equitable and comprehensive, and while resources continue to pop up for women around the country, the landscape is constantly evolving.

You can get involved in fighting against the overturning of Roe v. Wade by educating yourself and others about reproductive rights, participating in public demonstrations, and contacting your elected officials to express your support for reproductive rights. You can also look into volunteering with and donating to nonprofits and advocacy groups such as Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the Center for Reproductive Rights, which work to protect and expand access to reproductive healthcare. You can also join Perelel in our pledge to close the women's health research gap.

Up next: Learn about the Women's Health Research Gap and what we're doing to #FUNDWOMENSHEALTH.


  1. Four ways the end of Roe v Wade has changed America 
  2. The World's Abortion Laws
  3. States with the toughest abortion laws have the weakest maternal supports, data shows
  4. A National Survey of OBGYNs’ Experiences After Dobbs
  5. Maternity care deserts report
  6. Wealth Inequity Puts Abortion Out of Reach for Many Americans Living with Low Incomes