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Planned Parenthood: Illinois centers prepared for influx of out-of-staters if Roe v. Wade is overturned

Published: May. 4, 2022 at 6:24 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - Officials with Planned Parenthood told News 4 Wednesday they’re prepared to serve out-of-state patients from states with aggressive abortion in less restrictive states on abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

This comes after a leaked draft document showed the Supreme Court of the United States voting in favor of overturning the federal stance on abortion--giving states the power to enact abortion bans.

Missouri has a trigger law in place that will greatly restrict abortion if the federal government put the decision of abortion back in states’ hands.

Illinois law allows abortions.

Officials with Planned Parenthood in St. Louis said the organization will adjust as necessary to serve people coming from out of state to get abortions in states where it’s legal.

“In the wake of the Texas decision, our Southern Illinois health care center has seen a tremendous influx of folks, not just from Missouri, but from Texas and Oklahoma--all the states in between,” said Dr. Colleen McNicholas, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood in the St. Louis and Southwest Missouri region.

Dr. McNicholas said the centers have been receiving a lot phone calls about this issue, but Planned Parenthood has the capacity to support women getting abortions in places like Illinois if Roe v Wade is overturned.

“Because we have been planning and helping folks in Missouri access care--in such a restrictive environment--we have been prepared for this,” she said. “The projections for Illinois as a whole are on the order of 30,000 additional patients a year and when we think about what proportion of those will go to Southern Illinois--at least half of those.”

U.S. Rep. for Missouri Cori Bush attended an event Wednesday announcing millions of dollars of investment dollars into places in her district, such as Affinia Health in the St. Louis Region. She spoke to News 4 about the potential of Roe V. Wade being overturned.

“I just didn’t believe it at first. I wanted to verify it,” Rep Bush said. “So, I had my team verify it, and then once we found out that that is actually is supposed to be written as the decision to become the law of the land--just absolutely devastated.”

Bush is one of several Democrats in Congress who support codifying Roe v Wade. Many Democrats made a similar effort earlier this year in the Women’s Health Protection Act. It passed in the House, but failed in the Senate, blocked by a filibuster.

A Supreme Court decision is expected to come in July.