BUFFALO, N.Y. — Abortion clinics are now preparing for a wave of new patients traveling across state lines seeking their services as a last resort.
"We definitely expect more people to come to our facilities here in New York state, particularly in our western areas. We actually have started to receive request for appointments from people in Ohio and we expect as the bans, fall out bans and restrictions hit other states that more people would be forced to travel farther to receive abortion services," said Michelle Casey, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York.
The new Planned Parenthood medical center on East Amherst Street in Buffalo is one of the locations ready for an influx of people from across state lines.
It opened just a few weeks before the Supreme Court's decision was handed down.
There are double doors for security and they've doubled their family planning space and added spaces for in-clinic care. They have telehealth services for those who cannot travel and are seeking abortion care. And to keep up with the demand Casey says, "We are keeping an eye on our schedules and understanding how far out scheduling appointments and looking to add extra sessions as needed."
Casey said they are also looking to hire more people for all health center positions not just here, but all across the state.
"So we can increase the number of days and hours that we are open. To meet the demand, both locally and for folks coming from out-of-state," she said.
Even though many states have already changed their abortion laws and more changes are coming, things remain the same here in New York State.
"We are here and we are open and nothing has changed in New York State related to abortion care. It's still safe and legal here but we are also available to help people out of state who are now facing these undue hardships," she said.
According to Planned Parenthood, abortions are more common than you think. One in four American women will have an abortion by the age of 45. Casey said now that Roe v. Wade was overturned last week, she said "it is really going to affect people from black and brown communities, people with low incomes and young people the most."
For more information about abortions or to find a certified abortion provider, you can go to https://www.abortionfinder.org/.