Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) on Thursday announced a partnership to ensure abortion access for Wisconsin residents.
Abortions in Wisconsin were suspended after the overturn of Roe v. Wade because of a pre-Roe abortion ban and confusion about the current laws. Abortion in Illinois is still widely available.
The health organizations said that doctors, nurses and staff were going to PPIL’s Waukegan Health Center to expand capacity and provide care. Waukegan is just 20 miles from the Wisconsin border.
“Because abortion is safe and legal in Illinois, we are now an oasis for care, as millions of patients are stranded in a vast abortion desert, including Wisconsin residents,” said Jennifer Welch, president and CEO of PPIL. “Fortunately, trained medical professionals from Wisconsin are providing the care patients need in Illinois, and Illinois has the space to accommodate this increase of staff and patients. So, while PPWI is temporarily suspending providing abortion care, Wisconsin patients can access services in Illinois. Together, we are working to ensure all of our patients get the care they need.”
PPIL has said they expect an additional 10-30,000 out-of-state patients post-Roe. PPIL said in a statement that calls from Wisconsin for care have increased tenfold.
“At PPWI, we have anticipated this difficult moment for years and worked with our health care partners at PPIL and others to do what we can to protect and enhance access to safe, non-judgmental abortion care for patients traveling across state lines,” said Tanya Atkinson, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. “Despite the devastating impact of Wisconsin’s criminal abortion ban, we are grateful to the dedicated patient services team who are doing everything they can to meet the growing patient demand next door.”