MADISON, Wisconsin — Support for abortion seekers who needed transportation, medicine, and even childcare has long been supported, but since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Friday on the matter, local groups have been pressured to increase support for it. event to offer.
Immediately after the Supreme Court ruled to overturn nearly 50 years of precedent, leaders of the Midwest Access Coalition said urgent calls from those in need of help continued to pour in.
MAC’s program director Marie Khan said the group, which provides abortion seekers with help with childcare and travel expenses, went from about 120 calls per month to 600 in less than a week.
“There were people there all weekend,” Khan said. “Especially people from Wisconsin who knew, ‘Okay, (I) couldn’t have my appointment on Friday, I won’t be able to have it in the future and I need a plan to go to another clinic.’”
With the increase in demand, MAC, along with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, had to expand its existing hands-on support framework. It was in place because the organization already before the overthrow of Roe to Wade, many people in Wisconsin were already struggling to access care.
Khan said with the sudden growth in the list of people who do not have easy access to abortion, so is the cost needed to help. She fears that their limited resources may not be enough.
She also said she expects the increased demand for support services to go well beyond the initial aftermath of the Supreme Court decision, even with online access to abortion pills.
“We regularly have people contacting us like ‘I found out I’m 15 weeks pregnant,'” she said. “That won’t change if we don’t have access to real rural medicine in spaces where people can get maternity care to get ultrasound readings.”
She worries that with even less access to abortion services than before, people will have to wait longer to receive care, sometimes miss the pregnancy window for an abortion pill, and then have to undergo a more expensive, more invasive procedure.
She added that abortion support groups are currently working on plans for unknowns, and should also consider setting up resources for people who have become parents against their will.
“People will … not be able to have their abortion and will be forced to stay pregnant and what are we going to do with that,” she said.
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