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Planned Parenthood Hiring Workers And Opening Clinics In LA To Prep For The End Of Roe

Signs and banners left by abortion rights demonstrators on a fence outside of the US Supreme Court in Washington DC.
Abortion rights demonstrators leave banners at a fence outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. in May of 2022.
(JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AFP via Getty Images
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An estimated 26 states are poised to ban abortion with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision overturning Roe v. Wade on Friday. In the weeks ahead of the decision, California Planned Parenthood clinics already saw an influx of patients due to abortion restrictions already in place.

Last September, Texas enacted a law that bans most abortions as soon as any cardiac activity can be detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy, or about two weeks after a missed period. After the Texas ban became law, more people sought care in Los Angeles, said Celinda Vazquez, chief external affairs officer for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.

“We also saw this happen during the early days of the pandemic, when some states were actually not deeming abortion care as essential,” Vazquez said.

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“We are preparing for an influx," she added. "We know Los Angeles is a transportation hub and people are finding their way here. So we are seeing an increase in Los Angeles as well as other parts of the state."

A study from the abortion-rights Guttmacher Institute estimates the number of out-of-state residents whose nearest abortion provider will be in California will skyrocket — from about 46,000 currently to some 1.4 million, a nearly 3,000% increase — if the court overturns the decision and allows conservative states to completely ban the procedure.

That’s already effectively happened in Oklahoma, where Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt on Wednesday signed a law that restricts all abortionsexcept to save the life of a pregnant woman or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest that has been reported to law enforcement.

After oral arguments at the Supreme Court last December on a Mississippi law that challenged Roe v. Wade, Gov. Gavin Newsom convened the California Future of Abortion Council. The advisory group identified barriers to care and presented policy proposals to state lawmakers in January. Most became bills that are now making their way through the state legislature.

In the meantime, Vazquez said Planned Parenthood is hiring health workers and has recently opened three new clinics in L.A. County.

The U.S. Supreme Court had to decide whether to uphold Mississippi's ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. That law violated the Roe decision in 1973 and a subsequent ruling in 1992, Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Those decisions allowed people to obtain an abortion until about 24 weeks of pregnancy.

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