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Abortion providers in Illinois prepare for influx of patients from out of state

Posted at 5:25 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 18:25:46-04

WAUKEGAN — Abortion providers in Illinois are gearing up to support an influx of patients from out of state.

Planned Parenthood of Illinois says it has been preparing for Roe's fall for a long time. It opened a clinic near the Wisconsin border in Waukegan back in 2020.

It's one of 17 facilities across Illinois, and they are planning to add more staff and hours.

"We have been planning for a surge of 20,000 to 30,000 new patients coming to the state of Illinois, so we've also been planning for schedule increases and increasing our capacity in our existing facilities," said Planned Parenthood of Illinois Chief Medical Officer Dr. Amy Whitaker.

Dr. Whitaker says clinics have been taking many calls from Wisconsin patients.

"We are overwhelmed by the number of people reaching out, wondering what to do, and also people reaching out offering to help," said Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin President and CEO Tanya Atkinson. "Our first priority was to reschedule the almost 70 patients."

Atkinson said those patients were scheduled for services Friday, but were turned away once the ruling came down.

Dr. Stephanie Findley is a primary care physician who services Milwaukee's north side. She says she also has been inundated with calls.

"My biggest concern is women having unhealthy abortions and ending up dying of some infection," Dr. Findley said.

She says she got an abortion back when she was a student.

"It brings up memories of trying to make a decision," Dr. Findley said. "This is not a decision a woman takes lightly."

Anti-abortion groups also want to offer resources.

"To educate women, to offer them support and counseling, to empower them to be able to choose life," said Pro-Life Wisconsin communication director Anna DeMeuse in an interview with TMJ4 last Friday.

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