“Pregnant people” in Texas who are seeking an abortion are traveling to “crowded” clinics in Kansas to access the procedure, The Texas Tribune reported Thursday.
On Sept. 1, a new law in Texas, S.B. 8, took effect, which banned all abortions in the state after fetal heartbeat detection. This occurs at roughly six weeks gestation. Last month, as I reported, the Supreme Court upheld the law after abortion clinics in the state and the Justice Department filed lawsuits against it.
“Pregnant people who are unable to get an abortion in Texas due to the new restrictions are choosing to travel out of state for the procedure,” the Tribune’s report stated. “While clinics in neighboring states like Oklahoma and Louisiana fill up with Texas patients, pregnant Texans are finding appointments at the Trust Women health clinic in Wichita, Kansas. Up to half of the patients at Trust Women's Wichita clinic are from out of state, with a large proportion from Texas.”
Reporters from the Tribune visited Trust Women’s clinic in Wichita to see firsthand the Texans visiting the clinic. In a video detailing the visit, the Tribune said that employees from both Trust Women locations, in Wichita and Oklahoma City, say they’ve been “inundated with pregnant Texans seeking abortions.”
However, the Tribune did not speak to any Texans during their visit to the clinic. Reportedly, none of the Texan patients showed up for their appointments.
“The Texas Tribune visited Trust Women’s Wichita clinic to learn more about the Texans visiting the clinic and the staffers providing care,” the report stated. “While Texans scheduled for procedures during the Tribune’s visit did not ultimately show for their appointments, workers at the clinic said that Texas patients have told them about the compounded stress of seeking an abortion outside of their home state.”
Ashley Brink, the clinic’s director, spoke to the Tribune and said that they schedule 80 to 100 patients a week. She said one-third to one-half of the patients that they see are from another state, mainly Texas and Oklahoma.
“We’re having people from Texas who are being displaced and now people in their own home state of Oklahoma where they can access care are now being displaced because of the Texas ban,” Brink said to the Tribune.
Another staffer, Melissa Tovar, who is a patient care coordinator, described abortion as “services,” said it’s “hard to watch” women struggle to obtain an abortion in their home state.
“You see a weary traveler arrive at your doorstep,” Tovar told the Tribune.
Brink said she thinks the Supreme Court will overturn landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade next summer in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Dobbs surrounds a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi.
“Abortion access has been under attack for a really long time. S.B. 8 is the worst that it’s been,” Brink told the Tribune. “I truly think that come next summer, Roe will fall.”
Oral arguments in the Dobbs case were heard on Dec. 1, which I reported. A decision is expected next summer.
In November, as I covered, reports indicated that Texas women were traveling to New England, specifically, Maine, for abortion procedures. On the west coast, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who is pro-abortion, is reportedly working with lawmakers to increase the state’s “abortion infrastructure” to accommodate more out-of-state abortion patients.