A new study concludes that abortions across the country are safe and effective, but the quality of each procedure and ensuing care for patients vary by state.

The report, from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, studied the four most common methods of abortion and observed how women were cared for before and after abortion.

"I would say the main takeaway is that abortions that are provided in the United States are safe and effective," said Ned Calonge, co-chair of the committee that authored the study.

The report shows 90 percent of abortions are performed during the early weeks of pregnancy, when it's safest. But while the procedure itself is safe and effective, state restrictions that aim to reduce overall abortions pose as barriers that can diminish the quality of care a woman receives. For example, a woman may not be able to get the type of abortion that best suits her in a timely, equitable, and scientific manner.

Incorrect Information On Health Risks Of Abortion

Missouri is one state cited in the report. It, along with four other states, require 72 hours of waiting after an abortion counseling session. Fourteen other states require women to undergo an ultrasound before abortion. Meanwhile, five other states tell their patients that abortion may lead to breast cancer, which large studies have proven largely a myth.

"There are some requirements that require clinicians to misinform women of the health risks, that say you have to inform a woman that an abortion will increase her risk of breast cancer," said Calonge.

Abortions also don't have any effect "on future mental health issues including depression, anxiety or PTSD," he said.

"Clearly some of the regulations are having a real impact on quality," said Helene Gayle, co-chair and public health specialist at Chicago Community Trust and its president.

Number Of Abortions Diminishing

State restrictions have also played a role in decreasing the number of abortions from 29 per 1,000 women in 1980 to just about 15 in 2014. More efficient contraceptive measures, fewer unintended pregnancies also played a role.

Most of the patients seeking to undergo abortion come from low-income demographics, according to Gayle. About 17 percent of women have to travel over 50 miles just to have an abortion because a whopping 25 states only have five abortion clinics, sometimes fewer. Mississippi, along with a number of states, only have one, according to the report. Many of these clinics impose long waiting times, which may lead to delays because the women getting the abortions have to travel far.

Hal Lawrence, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists CEO, claims the report proves that state restrictions do nothing to improve women's health. Abortion is safer when performed earlier, he said, and imposing unnecessary waiting requirements for women may worsen the procedure's level of safety.

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