The Chicago Tribune has reported Illinois abortion clinics are seeing a rapid increase in the number of out-of-state patients since Roe v. Wade was overturned. The report comes half a year after the landmark Supreme Court ruling which sent the issue abortion back to the states. The right to abortion is now entrenched in state law in Illinois and the state is quickly becoming the “abortion capital of the U.S.”
Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League says, “Abortion providers and the government of Illinois are working to draw women here from across the region for abortions.” “This is bound to have an impact on people’s reproductive choices. Poor women throughout the Midwest are being told they need abortions in Illinois — not affordable housing, or adequate health care, or better child care options, but just abortion,” he continued.
Nearly a third of Planned Parenthood of Illinois patients now are from out of state, as opposed to about 6% prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Jennifer Welch, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois, told the Tribune, “It is clear that abortion bans don’t stop people from having or needing abortions, they just make it more difficult to access care. The number of patients from other states forced to travel to our health centers is at a historic high.”
According to Newsmax:
The Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights, said 16 states had near-total abortion bans at some point in 2022, when 50 abortion restrictions were adopted nationwide.
“Many of the laws passed this year are near-total abortion bans,” the institute said. “Combined with the implementation of pre-Roe laws and trigger bans that had been enacted in previous years, these laws have restricted abortion access for millions of people.”
Many patients heading to Illinois are coming from the Midwest and South.
“Surrounded by states where abortion is now unavailable and even criminalized, Illinois is a critical access point for those seeking care in the Midwest and South,” said Elisabeth Smith, director of Illinois policy and advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights.
“There has been a massive influx of patients from across the region, and Illinois providers have shown incredible resolve and determination to provide care to those who need it.”