(STACKER) — A leaked Supreme Court draft ruling that would overturn Roe v. Wade, dated in February and published May 2 by Politico, was confirmed as authentic by Chief Justice John Roberts on May 3.

Abortion is still legal in all 50 states and Washington D.C., but the leaked document sparked shock, outrage, and protests among those who see the document as a harbinger of what’s to come when the final ruling is announced in June or early July.

Between 2012 and 2017 alone, at least 276,000 people received abortions outside their home states. Read on to get an idea of how an overturn of Roe v. Wade could impact the nation.

1. Current bans limit abortion access and set precedent for more barriers

Credit: Stacker, Guttmacher Institute

Until a decision is reached by the Supreme Court this summer, abortion will remain legal in all 50 states and Washington D.C. Overturning Roe v. Wade would not immediately outlaw abortion across the U.S., but it would give states the right to determine the legality of the procedure. 

Under current conditions, at what stage and under what circumstances abortions can be performed varies from state to state. In those with the tightest restrictions, multiple bans exist to limit access now and potentially in the future should Roe fall. Bans on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy are enacted in 13 states and are among the most restrictive laws on the books.

Four state constitutions have amendments that declare they are not obligated to protect a right to abortion.

2. Travel distance for abortion access could increase by hundreds of miles

Credit: Stacker, Guttmacher Institute

A person seeking a legal abortion in the U.S. travels on average 25 miles to reach a clinic. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, that average distance could increase to 125 miles as clinics in states with abortion bans would likely be forced to close, according to the Myers Abortion Facility Database.

This travel burden becomes more severe in regions experiencing disproportionately low access to reproductive health care and states with restrictive anti-abortion legislation. The north-to-south corridor between North Dakota and Texas, for example, has a high concentration of counties already traveling roughly 250 miles to reach an abortion provider. Some even travel up to 350 miles.

Disparities in abortion access similarly exist in the southern U.S. In the possible reversal of Roe, travel distances in Louisiana could increase from 37 miles, or around half an hour of driving time, to 666 miles just one way—representing more than 11 hours of nonstop driving, and the largest increase in distance of any state.

Increased travel distances bring increased travel costs, potentially longer wait times to receive care, and time away from work and familial responsibilities. These barriers will disproportionately affect low-income Americans’ access to safe and legal abortions.

3. Clinic states brace for an influx of abortion patients

Credit: Stacker, Guttmacher Institute

The influx of abortion seekers to so-called clinic states—or states that have legal protections for abortion in place—is predicted to be large should Roe v. Wade be overturned. Projecting which states will see the largest increases has everything to do with geography.

A large influx of abortion-seekers is projected to look for services in North Carolina due to its proximity to many southeastern states where abortion is certain or likely to be banned if Roe is overturned. But unlike Illinois, the legal status of abortion in North Carolina is tenuous and highly dependent on whether anti-abortion candidates are successful in the state’s midterm elections over the coming months. The debate over abortion rights in North Carolina will likely be decided, at least for the time being, in 2023.

Some states have already taken steps to ensure access to safe abortions for people crossing state lines.

In 2019, New York funded the New York Abortion Access Fund, intended to help low-income abortion seekers from other states travel to New York for services. In March 2022, California passed SB 245, an act that eliminates out-of-pocket costs for abortions for those who have private insurance, as well as those on California’s Medicaid. In Oregon, legislators passed the Reproductive Health Equity Fund, which allocates $15 million to expand abortion services, including helping to cover expenses of those traveling to Oregon for abortions. And Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont is planning to sign a bill that would shield Connecticut abortion providers and out-of-state patients from being sued by states where abortion—even outside the state—is illegal. 

This report was compiled with data from the Guttmacher Institute. Although Guttmacher’s data relies on census data, which collects gender data as binary, abortion access impacts people beyond those who identify as women.