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Ohio affiliate to announce new fund to support patients with financial, practical support when forced to leave the state to access abortion services

OHIO – On Thursday, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio (PPGOH) unveiled new financial, emotional, and practical support programs aimed at assisting Ohioans being forced to leave the state to access vital abortion services. Since Americans lost the freedoms protected under Roe v. Wade in June and the enactment of Ohio’s draconian 6-week ban just days later, most pregnant people have had to leave the state to access essential health care. 

Despite the fact that this week a state judge temporarily blocked Ohio's six-week abortion ban for 14 days, other restrictions including waiting periods and mandatory ultasounds still remain in effect and the 6-week ban could soon become law again. 

The Patient Support Fund, launched at the event, will support pregnancy evaluation and assessment services, transportation, lodging, food, and childcare assistance. To date, these services have amounted to approximately $953 per patient. PPGOH aims to assist 2,200 patients over the course of the year. The organization is aiming to raise $2,096,600 to make that a reality.

“So many Ohioans are struggling to access care, regardless of whether or not they are needing to leave the state,” said Iris Harvey, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio. “The reality is our patients are in dire need of financial assistance. We need to make sure they are able to receive the care they need.” 

PPGOH is one of the only statewide direct service providers with the ability to supply full-spectrum support every step of the way — beginning with pregnancy evaluation and assessment services all the way to assistance accessing care, transportation, and lodging across state lines.

“The systems that we have in place now – like the travel assistance and hotel vouchers – allows our patients to be in control of what their own process looks like. The reason all of this is happening is rooted in the stripping of bodily autonomy. We want to restore that at every phase of this, so it’s crucial our patients are getting to make their own decisions” - Leah Mallinos, PPGOH Patient Navigator, said. 

In the first month following the Supreme Court ruling, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio helped navigate over 200 patients across state lines. Patients were then forced to travel an estimated 866% further to access the same level of care that was guaranteed in Ohio before the end of June. This means Ohioans were having to travel as far as California to access care — only increasing the amount of needed financial assistance for patients. Although there is a temporary hold on the 6-week ban at the moment, patient services past the deadline of the order most likely will return to the same restrictive parameters.

A recording of the Virtual Voices event is available here


Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio supports advocacy for reproductive health and reproductive rights, including grassroots organizing, community education, and lobbying. www.ppao.org 


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