One year ago, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and stripped tens of millions of their right to make their own personal medical decisions. Since June 24, 2022, there have been 20 states that have severely limited or outright banned access to abortion, forcing their residents to travel miles across state lines for the care they need.
The lasting impact does not stop at abortion care. These new laws have negatively affected obstetric and gynecological care on a much broader scale. Because of these post-Roe laws, clinicians are unable to use their medical expertise to provide proven, evidence-based care and prevent medical emergencies without the risk of criminal prosecution. At best, patients in these states are experiencing prolonged delays as they navigate these new complexities to care. At worse, they are burdened with increased expenses and exacerbated health outcomes.
Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties (PPOSBC) continues to challenge these unjust laws and provide patients with expert, compassionate abortion care. Through our Abortion Aid Program and our Patient Navigators, we’ve helped both local and out-of-state patients make travel arrangements for abortion care.
Over the past year, PPOSBC has provided abortion care to nearly 450 people from 32 states nationwide. The vast majority of these patients are traveling from Texas, where abortion is totally outlawed, and Arizona where constantly shifting abortion restrictions have sown confusion and chaos.
While these patients represent a fraction of the overall number of abortion patients PPOSBC sees each year, the fact remains that hundreds of people have been forced to travel thousands of miles to southern California for abortion care since June 24, 2022. They have driven overnight, slept in rest stop parking lots, ridden their first plane ride, traveled roundtrip hundreds of miles in one day, left their families, and taken time off work.
As we navigate a world without Roe, know that we will continue to provide expert, non-judgmental care to patients in our communities and to those who travel to us to ensure that everyone has timely access to abortion. We will ensure that every person who walks through one of our health center doors is met with compassionate staff who make them feel welcomed and respected.
You too can help both local and out-of-state patients access safe, legal abortion care by making a contribution to your local Planned Parenthood. Donate today.