“We haven’t had abortion for two and a half weeks” in Oklahoma, Susan Braselton told the Times. Braselton is a board member of the Roe Fund in Oklahoma, and a clinic escort. “I would never have thought this would happen.” The sole clinic in South Dakota, which also serves patients from Minnesota and North Dakota, provided its last abortion on Monday of this week.
Of the four clinics in Idaho that were providing abortions, one is closed—the Planned Parenthood clinic in Boise—leaving three other practices that provide the service. One only provides medication abortion, the other is essentially closed because the only doctor providing the service is on vacation for the remainder of the month.
Wisconsin Planned Parenthood wants patients to know that “Our doors are open. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin will continue to help patients get the care they need—including safe and legal abortion. No matter what.” That’s at the top of the website, but PP Wisconsin has also decided to stop making appointments for abortion after June 25. The last day the court has scheduled for decisions is June 27. They don’t want to be in a position of having to cancel appointments and leave patients scrambling to find alternatives, the states associate medical director, Dr. Allie Linton, told the Times.
PP administrators in Wisconsin were “cognizant of the significant trauma that might come for patients and staff if we are in the middle of a procedure or the middle of a procedure day, and have to tell patients we cannot provide care,” she said.
That’s the case for the organization in all the states where abortion will become illegal as soon as the ruling comes down. “Planned Parenthood affiliates in these states that are extremely hostile to abortion access are being forced to make the difficult decision whether or not to suspend providing abortion services following the court’s decision, due to their state’s legal landscape,” Danika Severino Wynn, the vice president for abortion access at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said. That means not scheduling appointments on decision days of the court, or simply shutting down like in Oklahoma and South Dakota.
It also means figuring out how to tap funding networks to help people travel for abortion care and extending care from out-of-state providers via telemedicine where possible. Blue states and cities are continuing to step up to create laws to shield providers and patients. New York is the most recent to join the ranks, with brand new laws that “would block New York courts from issuing subpoenas in connection with out-of-state abortion proceedings; prohibit extradition of abortion providers unless they are alleged to have fled from the demanding state and provide legal protections for New York abortion providers.”
The city of Austin, Texas has moved to provide those protections, and other blue states are trying to expand their provider networks with more training and by allowing more medical providers—like nurses, midwives, and physicians assistants—to provide abortion care.
And activists are continuing to come up with creative and pretty brilliant legal defenses for abortion access. Whatever the Supreme Court does in the next few weeks, legal abortion will still be happening in this country and will continue to be until we reclaim the court and restore those federal protections.