Planned Parenthood announced Monday plans to establish a mobile clinic to treat abortion patients in neighboring states.
The 37-foot RV will be kept in Illinois by the organization. However, it will travel to neighboring states close to the border to allow for abortion access to residents of Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
According to our sources, Planned Parenthood Illinois locations have been overloaded with out-of-state patients seeking abortions ever since Roe v Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court.
Planned Parenthood reported a 30% increase in abortion patients at Fairview Heights since June and a 3420% increase in patients from outside Missouri and Illinois.
Yamelsie Rodriguez, president, and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, Southwest Missouri stated that the increased number of patients has meant longer wait times. Rodriguez stated that patients had to wait on average four days before they could get an abortion. Rodriguez reported that patients now wait an average of two-and-a-half weeks to get an abortion.
It is legal in Illinois to have an abortion prior to fetal viability. An abortion can be performed before or after fetal viability if the doctor determines that it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the patient. The definition of “health” is the “physical, mental, and psychological health and age of the patient.
Dr. Colleen McNicolas, chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood St. Louis, stated that the new mobile abortion clinic would “reduce travel time and distances in an effort to meet patients at Illinois’ border.” She also noted that it would have a “dramatic impact on their access.”
Rodriguez said that the RV clinic will be traveling by the end of the year. It will have two exam rooms, a laboratory, and a waiting area. It will initially offer medication abortions for up to 11 weeks gestation. However, Planned Parenthood plans to provide surgical abortions within the first few months.
McNicholas, Rodriguez, and others declined to comment about the safety and security at the mobile clinic.