In the aftermath of the United States Supreme Court overturning Roe vs Wade, abortion has become a prohibitive act in several states. With the list of patients requiring the procedure increasing, Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit that provides sexual health care in the US and globally has announced plans to launch its first mobile abortion clinic.
Reportedly, the NGO will launch a 37-foot RV (Recreational Vehicle) in Southern Illinois that will travel to borders of adjoining states that do not allow termination of pregnancy. The mobile abortion clinic will house a lab, two exam rooms, and a waiting room.
As per Planned Parenthood, initially, the clinic will provide medication abortions up to 11 weeks of gestation. However, after a few months, it will start providing surgical abortions.
“Our goal is to reduce the hundreds of miles that people are having to travel now in order to access care…and meet them where they are,” Yamelsie Rodriguez, President of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri was quoted as saying by NPR.
“The mobile abortion clinic is a way to reduce travel times and distances in order to meet patients at the Illinois border. This will make a dramatic impact on their access,” added Dr. Colleen McNicholas, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis office.
While Illinois has banned abortion, the neighbouring states of Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and several others in the South and Midwest have done. Hence, Illinois has become the hotspot where aggrieved pregnant women are pilgrimaging to get access to abortion facilities.
Officials at Parent Parenthood say they may add additional mobile units if the test concept takes off. In a post-Roe world, it could be a means to provide pregnancy termination facilities to women across the state lines.
As reported by WION, the conservative-dominated court in June, earlier this year declared that individual states can now legalise or restrict the procedure on their own, overturning the historic “Roe v. Wade” ruling from 1973 that established a woman’s right to an abortion.
The court’s decision goes against a global trend that has seen abortion restrictions loosen up, particularly in nations like India, Ireland, Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia where the Catholic Church continues to have significant sway.
(With inputs from agencies)
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