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Today, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 opinion to overturn Roe, eliminating 50 years of protection for the right to safe, legal abortion. 

Swiftly following today’s decision, “trigger laws” are expected to go into effect banning abortion almost instantly across 13 states, including Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma – three of the four states in Planned Parenthood Great Plains (PPGP) service area. Another 13 states are certain or likely to follow suit, leaving 26 states and more than 36 million women of reproductive age, and many more people who can become pregnant, without access to care.

In light of today’s decision, PPGP has paused all abortion services in Arkansas. Last month, Oklahoma became the first state in the nation to ban abortion entirely. PPGP does not provide abortion services in its Missouri clinics. 

“Two hundred and fifty years ago, our country’s founders said, ‘All men are created equal.’ Today, the Supreme Court took the ‘men’ part literally, stripping rights from every woman in America,” said Emily Wales, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Great Plains. “State by state, we have seen access to abortion virtually eliminated. Oklahoma recently enacted the first total abortion ban most Americans have seen in their lifetime. Even while reproductive rights were being taken away before our very eyes, many people still doubted Roe could ever fall. Today this creeping march to crush fundamental freedoms has reached its awful conclusion: your body is not your own. Your rights are entirely dependent on where you reside. Yet in this very grim moment in American history, Planned Parenthood Great Plains’ doors are still open and will stay open, to provide sexual and reproductive care today, tomorrow, and for years to come. Our services may be forced to change due to cruel bans on abortion care, but our commitment to our patients remains.” 

Anticipating the end to a constitutional right to safe, legal abortion, while facing state-by-state bans that worsen structural racism and disproportionally harm low-income and rural communities, PPGP recently established the Center for Abortion and Reproductive Equity (CARE). This new initiative brings together PPGP’s expertise in lowering barriers to comprehensive care, with a commitment to addressing the challenges faced by marginalized communities in accessing health care.

CARE will help patients navigate a regional network of abortion providers and mental health, social work, and community-based organizations who can provide follow-up support and advocacy opportunities for patients in the places they call home.