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More patients than ever are coming to PPIL at a higher gestational age requiring a procedural abortion and in greater financial need; PPIL actively expanded patient care, financial resources, volunteers to meet needs

CHICAGO - Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) has experienced a 54% increase in abortion patients, both medication and procedural, since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022. PPIL data also show that more patients than ever are coming to one of our health centers at a higher gestational age that requires a procedural abortion. Abortions over 16 weeks gestational age now makes up 13% of all procedural abortions, compared to 8% pre-Dobbs decision. The number of patients needing financial assistance or travel support to get care at PPIL has more than doubled in the year since Dobbs. These trends demonstrate how bans and restrictions force patients to delay and travel farther for care.  

“The Supreme Court stripped away a fundamental right, causing devastating consequences for our patients, especially those forced to travel for care,” said Jennifer Welch, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois. “People should have the freedom to control their own body without political or corporate interference. This includes access to all abortion options and gender-affirming care, which is targeted by the same anti-abortion organizations and legislators. I am  proud of the work PPIL does to meet patients’ needs and continue to fight to expand access to care.” 

PPIL data also indicates since the Dobbs decision:
•    Over the course of the year, nearly a quarter (25%) of PPIL patients traveled from another state compared to 7% before Dobbs. 
•    Patients traveled from 34 different states.
•    The number of patients needing financial assistance or travel support for care more than doubled, and the average amount increased from $250 to almost $500 because of expanded distances, time delays, and costs of travel.
•    PPIL provided over $1.5 million in financial support to abortion patients through a combination of sources over the last year.

PPIL anticipated the surge in patients seeking abortion and gender-affirming care and took many steps to expand access.  In July 2022, PPIL announced a partnership with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) for abortion care providers from PPWI to travel to Illinois several days a week, expanding access to care at our Waukegan Health Center and across the state. In September 2022, PPIL unveiled the expansion of the Champaign Health Center to offer procedural abortion services to meet the demand of patients in central Illinois and Indiana. Since June 2022, PPIL grew its abortion navigation team from one to four with the sole purpose of helping out-of-state patients overcome barriers in traveling to Illinois for care. The team is now expanding services to help out-of-state gender-affirming care patients.

PPIL’s volunteer base also grew by 700 new people. PPIL volunteers provided over 6,200 hours of assistance, compared to 2,000 hours the year prior.  PPIL also has 300 volunteer escorts, who put in over 3,500 hours at health centers, more than double the hours from the previous year. 

Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA), the advocacy arm of PPIL, successfully championed pro-choice candidates in the 2022 elections including securing two key state supreme court seats, gaining a pro-choice seat in the Senate and five pro-choice seats in the House. 
•    PPIA supported 27 legislative measures aimed at protecting reproductive rights and improving access to reproductive and sexual health care. Of those 27, the General Assembly passed 11 of the measures. 
•    PPIA opposed and successfully stopped 22 anti-abortion, 3 anti-trans, and 1 anti-sexual and health education measures. They included bills to repeal the Reproductive Health Act and abortion bans.  

“Illinois is a safe haven in the Midwest because of the pro-choice champions in Springfield,” said Welch, President and CEO for PPIA. “Together with coalition partners, we passed a full suite of legislation that protects our patients and providers traveling from another state where there are bans and restrictions. We continue to fight for the rights of everyone to access the essential health care they need and deserve. ”

In addition to reproductive and sexual health bills, PPIA advocated for 4 bills supportive of the LGBTQ community which passed including allowing for all-gender, multi-use restrooms and making gender-neutral changes to the Juvenile Court Act to change references to boys and girls to children.

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Media Contact:
MJ Maharry
[email protected]


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