MILWAUKEE — Planned Parenthood is detailing how their teams in Wisconsin and Illinois are joining forces to increase abortion access in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade three weeks ago.
When that decision came down, Wisconsin’s ban on abortion went into effect. The ban is now the subject of a legal battle. Meanwhile, Illinois state law makes abortions legal.
Currently, all 22 Planned Parenthood clinics remain open in Wisconsin and provide a wide range of services including medical screenings, ultrasounds, bloodwork, and exams. They’re just not providing abortion services.
Now, workers at each Planned Parenthood clinic in Wisconsin will also help patients find and schedule abortion services out of state, help them get to that appointment, and then continue follow-up care when they return home.
“I'm one of the many providers who've decided to commute to Illinois to provide abortion care,” said Dr. Allie Linton, the Associate Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Wisconsin and an OBGYN at Froedtert and Medical College of Wisconsin.
She is among dozens of doctors and nurses in Milwaukee and Madison, who got licensed in Illinois, and now works across the state line at the Planned Parenthood office in Waukegan a few days per week. It's their way to avoid prosecution under Wisconsin's abortion ban, while still helping their patients get safe abortion care.
“We’ve had extensive legal review, and what we’re doing is well within the bounds of what we can do, without putting our doctors at risk of jail time,” said Tanya Atkinson, the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Wisconsin.
“I am not performing any abortions in Wisconsin,” said Dr. Linton. “Both patients and providers are physically in Illinois for all care provision.”
In just the past three weeks since Roe fell and Wisconsin's abortion ban went into effect, Planned Parenthood's office in Waukegan, Illinois has seen ten times more patients from Wisconsin.
With the extra staff from Wisconsin, the Waukegan office has been able to double the number of abortion services it provides.
The Planned Parenthood teams in Wisconsin and Illinois have also joined forces to expand financial assistance for patients. From paying for gas, or bus and train tickets, to covering the cost of abortion care.
Meanwhile, anti-abortion groups in Wisconsin say they're increasing their reach and collaboration as well.
“In the same way that Planned Parenthood is upping their efforts in Illinois, we have seen a massive increase of women coming to pregnancy resource centers here in Wisconsin,” said Gracie Skogman, the Legislative Director for Wisconsin Right to Life. “Some centers have seen a 40% increase just since Roe was overturned. We are also increasing our emergency assistance for women who make the choice to go forward with their pregnancy.”
“We provide medical assistance, diapers, wipes, clothes, and so much more,” said Anna DeMeuse, the Communications Director for Pro-Life Wisconsin. “The resources are there for women in need. Here at Pro-Life Wisconsin, financially speaking, we offer rent assistance, groceries, help with health care, and we also work with women who want to continue their education and be a mom.”
For assistance from any of these organizations:
- Pro-Life WI:
- prolifewi.org (262)796-1111