Iowa Planned Parenthood clinics seeing influx of patients from out of state

Iowa Planned Parenthood clinics seeing influx of patients from out of state
Iowa Planned Parenthood clinics seeing influx of patients from out of state
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 10:41 PM CDT
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Iowa (KCRG) - Planned Parenthood clinics in Iowa are seeing a significant increase in patients, now more than a month after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade.

Sheena Dooley with Planned Parenthood North Central States says clinics in Iowa are seeing an influx of people coming from neighboring states like Missouri and Nebraska. But they’ve also seen people travel from as far as Texas and Louisiana, where trigger bans went into effect following the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Right now, Iowa law bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The only exceptions are to save the life of the mother. Just a few weeks after Roe was overturned, an Iowa law went into effect requiring people who want an abortion to get two separate appointments at least 24 hours apart.

This alongside the increase in patients has led to longer wait times at clinics, and Dooley says their clinics also experiencing the shortage in health care workers. But she says their staff remains dedicated to providing health care services, saying “It’s, it’s hard. It’s really hard for them, but I admire the fact that they are in this and they are more dedicated than ever to providing abortion care and reproductive health care to the patients that we’re seeing. Even though they’re stretched right now, they are really stretched.”

Dooley says the new laws are also confusing for patients. To help, Planned Parenthood is using Patient Navigators. Those staff members help patients with anything from finding a nearby clinic, transportation, or help with financial needs.

Dooley says Planned Parenthood is also prepping for Iowa’s 2023 legislative session. “Abortion care in Iowa... safe and legal abortion care is under threat like we’ve never seen before and could very realistically be outlawed in the next year or less,” says Dooley. She says Planned Parenthood does expect state lawmakers to bring up a constitutional amendment that would say there is no right to an abortion in Iowa.

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