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Door County pilot offers flights to those who need abortion out of state

Posted at 6:08 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-28 10:32:44-04

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade effectively put an end to abortions in Wisconsin, except abortions performed by a doctor to save the mother's life. Outside of that exception, those seeking an abortion need to find services outside of the state. But for some, finding out how to get there can be a struggle. If searching online, one would find some who'd be more than willing to drive a patient to a clinic. But one man is taking his services one step further.

Meet Adrian. He's a pilot from Door County who's ready to take on a mission with Elevated Access. The group found him through his TikTok account @cheesepilot.

"Elevated Access is a group of pilots, like me, donating their aircraft time, resources and money to take people from where they can't receive reproductive and gender affirming care to places where they can receive reproductive and gender affirming care," Adrian said.

His following online has grown exponentially, from 1,500 followers to 90,000+ in a matter of a few weeks. Adrian's used his presence to spread the word about Elevated Access. He's not only raised money for the organization, but now more than 500 pilots are volunteering, compared to the original four or five.

Elevated Access takes a ten hour travel day and turns it into 20 minutes, Adrian said. They've only had one mission so far in the Midwest.
"The pilot went and got lunch while everything was happening, and then they both met back up the airport at the plane and went home," Adrian said.

Adrian is humble and doesn't like the attention his social media is getting, but he believes it's an important message, and is doing it for more than just out of the good of his heart.

"People need access to reproductive health care because of what my mom went through," he said. "[She] was pregnant at 13, gave birth to twins at 14."

Adrian said his mother's parents would not allow her to have an abortion, and he believes abortion should remain a choice.

That's why despite hate comments he gets online for the work he's doing, he doesn't stop.

"I found one [a comment] that just straight up said, 'Well, if you're poor just don't have babies,'" Adrian said. "Like what about my mom?"

"There's a saying that I learned in the Army that a hero and a villain have the same origin story. A hero just wants to make sure that no one else has to go through what they went through, and a villain thinks everyone should have to go through what they went through," Adrian said.