Patients continue to stream into Illinois for abortion care, new data shows

Nearly two years after the reversal of Roe v. Wade, women are continuing to turn to Illinois for abortion care, new data from Planned Parenthood of Illinois showed Monday.

The majority of patients are traveling from nearby Indiana and Wisconsin to access treatment at Planned Parenthood centers, including one in Waukegan.

After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 22, 2022, Gov. J.B. Pritzker vowed Illinois would be a haven for legal abortion procedures.

Planned Parenthood of Illinois “has seen a 47% increase in overall abortion care patients and an unprecedented number of out-of-state patients traveling from 41 different states,” officials said.

Previously, from 3% to 5% of patients were from out-of-state; currently that number is nearly 25%.

Planned Parenthood health centers near Illinois borders are serving the highest numbers of clients coming from other states, the agency reported.

A newly opened clinic in Carbondale is seeing an influx of women from Tennessee and Kentucky, because of abortion restrictions in those states.

“We know banning or restricting abortion does not stop the need for abortion care,” Planned Parenthood of Illinois President Jennifer Welch said in a statement.

People accessing the Carbondale health center have come from 16 different states, with the highest numbers from Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Indiana, Arkansas, Alabama and Missouri.

Statewide, abortions rose in 2022, with 16,849 procedures recorded compared to 11,307 in 2021, the Illinois Department of Public Health said in January.

In total, 56,457 patients in Illinois had abortion procedures or medication in 2022, in contrast with 51,797 in 2021, a 9% increase, the IDPH reported.

Currently, 14 states ban abortion, including nearby Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Eleven have restrictions ranging from six to 22 weeks of pregnancy.

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