Illinois is set to be the first state to have a Planned Parenthood mobile abortion clinic operating within its boundaries. The clinic will offer medication abortions at the onset, but eventually provide surgical abortions too. It is expected to be operational in southern Illinois by the end of this year.
Yamelsie Rodriguez, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, announced the new clinic on Oct. 3, exactly 100 days after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. It will operate near where the Illinois border meets states the organization deems the laws regarding abortion are too restrictive. Several of the state’s elected officials have publicly stated it is their intent to make Illinois an abortion “haven” or “oasis” in the Midwest.
Illinois Baptists are continuing their efforts to meet and support the needs of women experiencing unplanned pregnancies through various church and individual ministries throughout the state. Cooperatively they support three ministries of Baptist Children’s Home and Family Services (BCHFS): GraceHaven Pregnancy Resource Clinic, Angels’ Cove Maternity Home, and Faith Adoption Services. “We at BCHFS want women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy to know we love them and will provide support services as they make difficult decisions regarding their preborn child,” the entity said in a statement.
The 37-foot mobile unit will have two exam rooms, a lab, and a waiting room. It will offer medication abortions to women whose pregnancies have reached up to 11 weeks of gestation. Officials said their goal is to see 30 patients a day.
The organization said it plans to offer first trimester surgical abortions in the mobile unit by sometime in the first quarter of next year.
Rodriguez said the wait times for an appointment at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Fairview Heights, just a 15-minute drive from downtown St. Louis, have increased from four days to 2 ½ weeks since the state of Missouri’s abortion ban went into effect in June.
At least 66 clinics in 15 states have stopped providing abortions since the Supreme Court’s ruling according to a new analysis by the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute.