Planned Parenthood plans mobile abortion clinic in Illinois




  • In World
  • 2022-10-03 16:42:42Z
  • By Associated Press

Planned Parenthood officials on Monday announced plans for a mobile abortion clinic - a 37-foot RV that will stay in Illinois but travel close to the borders of adjoining states that have banned the procedure since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year.

The announcement came 100 days after the Supreme Court ruling that stripped away constitutional protections for abortions, allowing states to ban the procedure. Illinois didn't institute an abortion ban, but neighboring Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee did, along with several other states in the South and Midwest.

As a result, both abortion clinics on the Illinois side of the St. Louis region, including one operated by Planned Parenthood in Fairview Heights, have been inundated with patients. Leaders of the St. Louis Planned Parenthood office said that since June, the Fairview Heights clinic has seen a 30% increase in abortion patients - a rate officials said was even higher than they anticipated. Patients from outside Missouri and Illinois increased by more than 340%.

The onslaught of patients means longer waits. Yamelsie Rodriguez, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, said abortion appointment wait times have gone from an average of four days prior to the Supreme Court ruling to two-and-a-half weeks.

"The mobile abortion clinic is a way to reduce travel times and distances in order to meet patients at the Illinois border," said Dr. Colleen McNicholas, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood's St. Louis office. "This will make a dramatic impact on their access."

The mobile clinic will travel near to the borders of southeastern Missouri, western Kentucky and northeastern Tennessee. Rodriguez said the RV is expected to arrive this month and should be operational by the end of the year.

The clinic will include two exam rooms, a lab and a waiting room. Initially, it will provide medication abortions up to 11 weeks of gestation. Planned Parenthood will aim to start providing surgical abortions at the clinic after the first few months.

McNicholas and Rodriguez declined to discuss safety and security measures for the mobile clinic.

Laura Echevarria, spokeswoman for the National Right to Life Committee, which opposes abortions, called the mobile abortion clinic "another grotesque demeaning of human life."

"Chemical abortions can lead to life-threatening complications," Echevarria said in a statement. "Will women recognize those complications early enough to seek treatment?"

Other efforts have begun around the country to increase abortion access.

The nonprofit Just The Pill operates a mobile clinic in Colorado that provides medication abortions. Spokeswoman Kat Mavengere said that early next year, also in Colorado, Just The Pill will operate a mobile clinic for procedural abortion. The organization also plans to expand to other areas, starting with a mobile clinic in Illinois in 2023.

In July, a California doctor proposed a floating abortion clinic in the Gulf of Mexico as a way to maintain access for people in southern states where abortion bans have been enacted. Dr. Meg Autry said the idea was to provide a clinic aboard a ship in federal waters, and out of reach of state laws.

Some Democrat-led cities like St. Louis, meanwhile, have set aside money to help pregnant women travel to states where abortions are legal.

COMMENTS

More Related News

At Protests, Guns Are Doing the Talking
At Protests, Guns Are Doing the Talking

Across the country, openly carrying a gun in public is no longer just an exercise in self-defense - increasingly it is a soapbox for elevating one's voice...

Student Loan Forgiveness: Approval Letters Are Being Sent, But It Doesn
Student Loan Forgiveness: Approval Letters Are Being Sent, But It Doesn't Mean You'll Get Money - Here's Why

Despite legal entanglements that have temporarily halted the Biden administration's federal student loan forgiveness program, administration officials...

Illinois vs Northwestern Prediction Game Preview
Illinois vs Northwestern Prediction Game Preview

Illinois vs Northwestern game preview, prediction, and breakdown for the Week 13 game on Saturday, November 26

EXPLAINER: How could allies help Netanyahu beat charges?
EXPLAINER: How could allies help Netanyahu beat charges?
  • US
  • 2022-11-25 06:41:58Z

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to return to office, from where he could try to make his yearslong legal troubles disappear through...

Court OKs life term in 2016 police chase crash that killed 3
Court OKs life term in 2016 police chase crash that killed 3
  • US
  • 2022-11-24 21:24:50Z

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that a man convicted of third-degree murder in a Thanksgiving Day 2016 crash that killed three people following a...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World