California May Soon Face Surge of Out-of-State Abortion Patients

People travel to California for lots of reasons: to visit Hollywood and Fisherman’s Wharf, to hike Yosemite and Muir Woods. The event Roe v. WadeIt is likely that it will also become a top choice for abortions once the ruling is overturned.

Indeed, Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked majority opinion becomes the final say of the Court as expected, once-guaranteed abortion rightscodified by Roe v. Wade1973 decision will no longer be valid. Each individual can decide. individual stateExperts predict that about half of the U.S. states will implement abortion bans or allow them. bans. This would mean that abortion clinics for approximately 41 percent of women in reproductive age would close, requiring women with the financial resources to travel elsewhere.

Similar to the states that double down on efforts to ban the event, so do many other states. Roe v. Wade is overturned, many states — like California — are taking action to ensure anyone can access abortion in the state, and secure abortion rights. The Golden State’s governor Gavin Newsom has long pledged that the state would become a “sanctuary” for people seeking abortion care. However, the leaked opinion has brought to light efforts and promises to do so. For example, Newsom recently proposed an amendment that would “enshrine the right to choose” in California’s constitution.

“We know we can’t trust the Supreme Court to protect reproductive rights, so California will build a firewall around this right in our state constitution,” Newsom said in a statement. “Women will remain protected here.”

California voters will be asked in November if they support a constitutional change. ensure permanent abortion accessIn the state. But that’s not all California legislators are doing to widen abortion care for all. Newsom signed a law in March to expand abortion care for all. make abortions less expensive Private insurance plans. California state senator Toni Atkins (Daily San Diego) introduced a bill in this year’s California that would allow nurse practitioner to perform abortions under the supervision of a doctor. These efforts are in support of an expected increase in abortion-care-seeking patients from outside the state.

Lisa Matsubara is Vice President of Policy and General counsel of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. SalonCalifornia has been preparing for the future. Roe v. WadeTo be overturned for quite a while, since the passage a draconian anti-abortion lawTexas in 2021. Matsubara agreed that it was difficult to predict the impact on California based on the Supreme Court’s final opinion on the constitutionality of a Mississippi law prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks.

“It could mean that overnight, we’re going to see 26 states pretty much go dark,” Matsubara said, “or it could potentially mean if the Supreme Court ends up not completely overturning Roe, which might be more of a piecemeal approach over the course of several months.”

Matsubara was careful not to make any predictions but said the state would be ready for an inflow. “I think it’s a little bit hard to tell what exactly the the number of folks that might be traveling to California or really any of the states where abortion will remain legal will look like, but a lot of the efforts that we’re currently doing right now is to make sure that we can build capacity and that also have the ability to increase capacity as needed,” she said.

According to a Guttmacher Institute reportCalifornia could see a 2,923% rise in the number of women who live near an abortion provider. Many would come from Arizona which is almost certain not to ban abortion. While this would certainly put pressure on California’s abortion-care providers — as more than 40 percent of California counties do not have clinics that provide abortions — it would be a welcome trend.

But how can California’s clinics and providers handle it all?

“I think that’s the question of the hour,” Flor Hunt, the executive director of Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare(TEACH), which offers training in reproductive healthcare and networking for Northern California Family Medicine residencies. Salon. “I think everybody in California is trying to prepare, and there’s certainly a lot that we’re doing to try to increase capacity to be able to mobilize capacity in the event that Roe is overturned, but I don’t think anybody really knows what that is going to mean, and how many patients we’re going to be seeing.”

As reported by CBS News,Southern California Planned Parenthood clinics reported an increase in patients following the Texas post-six week abortion ban. Many advocates say that was a preview of what’s to come.

“SB 8 of Texas gave us a sense of what the impact was on neighboring states,” Hunt said. “There’s a statistic around wait times increasing 25-fold in the neighboring states, but I think that as California is trying to mobilize and prepare, we’re all a little bit in the dark about the degree to which we need to increase capacity and what that’s really going to look like.”

Hunt said that medication abortions and remote telehealth appointments have made in person procedures less necessary. Part of the recommendations from the California Future of Abortion CouncilThis document contains a list of legislation the state should adopt to prepare. One recommendation: Offer medication abortions in other countries via telehealth.

Hunt stated that TEACH is working closely to their clinical partners to staff clinics in case of a large increase in patient numbers.

“So we’ve been having conversations with the training partners that we work with about their staffing needs, and talking about how we can increase capacity, staffing their clinics with our preceptors,” Hunt said. “Also that provides more training opportunities, which means that more residents are getting trained in abortion and then will be ready to graduate with the ability to provide care once they’re done with residency as well.”

Hunt also mentioned that they have a training program that teaches how to give medication abortions. This program is available to all clinicians, including family physicians, who may not be trained. It is possible that Planned Parenthood will see an increase of out-of-town abortion patients. This could be addressed by allowing other types to treat these patients.

“Family planning clinics play a hugely important role in providing access to abortion care, but Californians should also be able to find access to abortion care when they go to their primary care provider,” Hunt said. “We believe really strongly that abortion is essential healthcare, it should be included in primary care and we want to help clinicians who want to be able to provide that care to do so.”

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