Some facility regulations reduce healthcare availability, without increasing patient safety.

States have a role in regulating health facilities to ensure patient safety. Yet many states single out outpatient clinics that provide abortion for uniquely stringent regulations. These regulations far exceed those required of facilities providing similar outpatient procedures — despite decades of research evidence demonstrating the safety of abortion.

This website summarizes the most recent, rigorous evidence about these disparate regulations and their impact on safety and availability of abortion.

  • Outpatient Facility Regulation: Many states have singled out abortion facilities for far more stringent regulation than those required of facilities providing outpatient procedures in general. These disparate regulations are not based in evidence.
  • Abortion Safety By Facility Type: Abortions performed in office-based settings are just as safe as abortions performed in Ambulatory Surgical Centers. Most abortions can be safely provided in office-based settings.
  • Service Availability: Disparate regulation of facilities providing abortion care increases barriers to and costs of obtaining care. In some cases, these barriers result in women not being able to obtain an abortion at all.
  • And some evidence-based background on abortion: Abortion is a common, safe, and simple outpatient procedure.

The Bottom Line

No published research evidence indicates that regulations that require abortion facilities to meet higher standards than facilities providing similar office-based procedures provide health or safety benefits. Instead, published evidence indicates these regulations can decrease service availability.