How abortion coverage changed in the media, according to the data

Immediately after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, the most popular health- or politics-related word used in local newspaper stories about abortion was “pregnancy.”

Now, the most commonly used is “vote.”

That shift is just one measure of how the Supreme Court’s decision reshaped public discussion of abortion, and how it has been reflected in the news media.

To examine the reaction to the court’s ruling, POLITICO compiled more than 15,700 local newspaper articles that mention abortion published in states where abortion is banned or restricted past 15 weeks of pregnancy.

This analysis captures what happened after the explosive decision reshaped health care policy and reignited a long-deadlocked debate over medicine, gender, sexual autonomy and the law.

On the week in June 2022 of the Dobbs decision, which gave states broad power to restrict abortion, there was an equal amount of political and health coverage of abortion.

Politics has dominated ever since.

Since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, local newspaper articles mentioning abortion have focused on politics 2.5 times as often as they’ve focused on its effects on maternal health, families and health care providers.

On one level, this trend reflects the

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