SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — As abortion access tightens, providers are preparing for as much as a 3,000% increase in people whose closest abortion option is California.
“The moment Trump got elected abortion providers were preparing for this day because we knew it could come,” Cheri Grevin, the Senior Director of Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood in Mar Monte said.
Cheri Grevin with Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, that’s everything from the Bay Area to Bakersfield, and Northern Nevada, says much of that planning is preparing to take on out-of-state patients.
“From hiring more abortion providers, increasing our training with medical schools, to building more health centers, expanding the footprint of other health centers,” Grevin said.
In our region, Grevin said Planned Parenthood is able to take on 250-500 additional patients a week.
“Our abortion provider asked why here, why San Jose. She said that first from Texas she went in to OK but waited 12-14 hours for an appointment,” Grevin said.
In Southern California, Planned Parenthood Pacific of Southwest covering the San Diego region to the Arizona and Mexico borders is anticipating an uptick as well.
“One thousand, 2,000 more patients coming from out of state,” Tessa Hemmi of Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest said.
For many patients in rural western Arizona, California is already their closest abortion provider and what happens for people living in big cities now is unclear, Planned parenthood Arizona president Brittany Fonteno said.
“Because there is so much confusion there is a lot of chaos right now,” President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona, Brittany Fonteno said.
Arizona announced Friday that they are halting abortions until they get clarity.
“We’re getting a lot of phone calls, a lot of worried, scared patients coming in not knowing what their rights are,” Fonteno said.
Planned Parenthood Arizona and Pacific Southwest are reportedly working together to provide a seamless referral process, scheduling appointments in California, and getting patients to those appointments.
“That might look like gas cards for folks who have to stay overnight, that may look like helping them find a hotel; it might be providing them vouchers for a hotel. It could be airfare,” Hemmi said.
Planned Parenthood has a message for women, no matter where they live.
“While we are outraged, we are here for you,” Grevin said.