Planned Parenthood announced that it will start operating a mobile abortion clinic in southern Illinois to cater to patients from neighboring states that have banned the procedure.
Three states that border Illinois – Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee – instituted bans on abortions after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.
Those bans have led to an influx of women seeking abortions in nearby Illinois, according to Planned Parenthood.
The organization’s Fairview Heights center, which is just 20 miles from the Illinois-Missouri border, has seen a 30% spike in patients seeking abortions since Roe v. Wade was overturned. Appointment wait times also went up from four days to two-and-a-half weeks, Planned Parenthood says.
Planned Parenthood said that “taking abortion care on the road will help reduce travel distances” and free up space at their brick-and-mortar locations.
“Over the past 100 days, I’ve cared for people from across the country who traveled to southern Illinois for abortion care,” Dr. Colleen McNicholas, Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, said in a statement. “Planned Parenthood is proud to bring creative solutions to an unjust health care system and doing our best to depoliticize decisions that should be left between providers and their patients.”
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Stacy Smith, the CEO of the pro-life group Sidewalk Advocates, said her organization was “incredibly dismayed” to see Planned Parenthood “trying to maintain its bottom line by offering mobile abortions.”
“This expansion takes advantage of pregnant women in crisis in states that now protect unborn children and their mothers from the tragedy of abortion,” Smith told Fox News Digital in a statement.
The new mobile abortion center will be outfitted with two exam rooms, a lab, and a waiting room in an RV.
It will initially only provide medication abortion up to 11 weeks gestation but will eventually provide procedural abortions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.