Virginia Planned Parenthood prepares for possible wave of out-of-state patients
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The controversy surrounding the historic Supreme Court decision to strike down Roe v. Wade continues into another week.
While abortion is still legal in Virginia, the ripple effects from the Roe v. Wade ruling impact some of Virginia’s neighboring states, causing places like Planned Parenthood to prepare for out-of-state patients.
Planned Parenthood has continued to conduct abortions since the Supreme Court decision came down. There is no trigger law in Virginia, but now, the focus turns to prepare for out-of-state patients who will be affected by those laws. Places like Tennessee and Kentucky have these “trigger bans” in place.
“Planned Parenthood and other providers are doing what they can to increase capacity and make sure that Virginians, and those coming to Virginia seeking care, will be able to access that care,” Executive Director of Virginia Planned Parenthood Jamie Lockhard said.
As women find out they’re pregnant in the coming weeks, they will now have to take a hard look at the laws in their states to determine what is legal if they want or need an abortion.
“There’s also telehealth appointments that are available for medication abortion,” Lockhart said. “That is something that Planned Parenthood and other providers have been expanding over the last several months.”
Currently, 13 states have trigger bans in place, and Planned Parenthood is preparing to provide care for those patients if they need to travel.
“We anticipate 26 states ultimately will have abortion bans, but those things take some time with how state legislative sessions come back to to change their state laws,” Lockhart said.
Not only is Planned Parenthood gearing up for an influx of patients, but there’s also been a surge in calls for appointments and prescriptions.
“There have been a huge number of increases for requests about birth control through Planned Parenthood Direct or just people calling and asking and hearing about patients who we were seeing over the weekend at Planned Parenthood asking about IUDs or just because there is concern,” Lockhart said.
Lockhart says it was already hard to secure an appointment before Friday. Now, patients may have to wait to find an available slot.
“I think people are legitimately concerned about whether they’re going to have long-term access through to the full range of reproductive health care,” Lockhart said.
NBC12 contacted Governor Glenn Youngkin for comment about women traveling from out-of-state to receive abortion services in Virginia. NBC12 did not get a response.
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