Planned Parenthood centers in SoCal report dramatic increase in abortion patients from out of state

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Wednesday, July 6, 2022
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Planned Parenthood centers in Orange and San Bernardino counties say they've experienced a 900% increase in out-of-state abortion patients.

Planned Parenthood centers in Orange and San Bernardino Counties say they've experienced a 900% increase in out-of-state abortion patients.

San Bernardino Congressman Pete Aguilar paid a visit Tuesday to one of the centers to reassure his constituents of his commitment to reproductive rights.

At least 26 states have enacted laws that severely restrict or ban access to abortion following the Supreme Court's overturn of Roe v. Wade.

While abortion is protected in California, more than 20 California counties have no abortion clinics.

Abortion providers and patients across the country have been struggling to navigate the evolving legal landscape around abortion laws and access.

In Florida, a law banning abortions after 15 weeks went into effect Friday, the day after a judge called it a violation of the state constitution and said he would sign an order temporarily blocking the law next week. The ban could have broader implications in the South, where Florida has wider access to the procedure than its neighbors.

Abortion rights have been lost and regained in the span of a few days in Kentucky. A so-called trigger law imposing a near-total ban on the procedure took effect last Friday, but a judge blocked the law Thursday, meaning the state's only two abortion providers can resume seeing patients - for now.

The legal wrangling is almost certain to continue to cause chaos for Americans seeking abortions in the near future, with court rulings able to upend access at a moment's notice and an influx of new patients from out of state overwhelming providers.

Even when women travel outside states with abortion bans in place, they may have fewer options to end their pregnancies as the prospect of prosecution follows them.

Planned Parenthood of Montana this week stopped providing medication abortions to patients who live in states with bans "to minimize potential risk for providers, health center staff, and patients in the face of a rapidly changing landscape."

Planned Parenthood North Central States, which offers the procedure in Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska, is telling its patients that they must take both pills in the regimen in a state that allows abortions.

The use of abortion pills has been the most common method to end a pregnancy since 2000, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone - the main drug used in medication abortions. Taken with misoprostol, a drug that causes cramping that empties the womb, it constitutes the abortion pill.

"There's a lot of confusion and concern that the providers may be at risk, and they are trying to limit their liability so they can provide care to people who need it," said Dr. Daniel Grossman, who directs the research group Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health at the University of California San Francisco.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.