Washington is gearing up for more patients who want abortions

SEATTLE (AP) — As the nation awaits Supreme Court opinion on a blockbuster abortion case involving Roe v. Wade could fall, Planned Parenthood of Washington is bracing for a surge in out-of-state patients requesting abortions.

“We’re already seeing patients from Texas, from Oklahoma. I saw a patient from Alabama a few weeks ago,” said Dr. Erin Berry, gynecologist and medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands in Washington state, told KING-TV.

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest said it is working to identify which Washington locations could open for additional days if needed, and beefing up its patient navigation teams, who help patients with appointments and travel arrangements.

“There’s a lot of unknowns,” Berry said. “Furthermore, we ultimately don’t know how many people will come from where and what their needs will be.”

Twenty-six states are likely to have total or near total abortion bans if Roe v. Wade is lifted. Idaho’s Trigger Act prohibits all abortions except for rape, incest, and when the mother’s life is in danger.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that advocates for abortion rights, 230,000 patients could travel across Idaho’s state lines to seek an abortion.

Berry said it is expensive for patients to travel across the country to access medical care and fears being funded in the long term.

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