Pennsylvania abortion providers brace for surge in out-of-state patients
Pennsylvania abortion providers and funds are increasing resources in anticipation of an influx of out-of-state patients following the Supreme Court’s decision to quash Roe v. Wade.
By the numbers: Keystone of family planning estimates that 8,500 out-of-state patients could flock to Pennsylvania to seek abortion care this year, particularly in Ohio and West Virginia where laws severely restrict abortion access.
Why is this important: About 85% of counties in Pennsylvania do not have an abortion provider, per Guttmacher Institute.
- Increased demand from out-of-state patients could put additional pressure on already struggling providers.
What is happening: The PA Abortion Liberation Fund has increased its funding for the next fiscal year from $610,000 to approximately $838,000.
- Yes, but: Even with the extra money, the organization may not be able to meet the needs, the association’s executive director, Elicia Gonzales, told Axios. Last year, the fund used about $667,000 in funding to help 3,200 people pay for abortions, but the need was closer to 7,000.
- More, out-of-state patients have additional expenses, such as travel expenses and missed work days.
Lindsey Mauldin, The vice president of public policy and advocacy for Planned Parenthood Southeast Pennsylvania, told Axios that she expects clinics in western and central Pennsylvania to see an increase in new patients.
- But for now, clinics in Pennsylvania are fielding calls from patients who want to make sure they still have access to care. Mauldin says the immediate priority is to remind people that abortion is still legal in the state.
The suppliers are is also working with law enforcement and preparing for more protests outside of clinics, Mauldin says.
- The organization deploys trained volunteers through its patient escort program to ensure people enter clinics safely.
What to watch: Republican lawmakers and political candidates are pushing to limit abortion access in Pennsylvania.