A Chicago doctor provided abortion care to people from 7 states in 1 day

  • After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Illinois became an abortion oasis.
  • An OB-GYN in Chicago told INSIDER she was overwhelmed by the number of out-of-state patients she saw.
  • “I think this is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m worried it’s going to get worse,” said Dr. Amy Adante.

Reproductive health care providers in abortion-protected states are seeing new trends in providing this care — patients are traveling hours or days for a procedure that sometimes takes just minutes.

Dr. Amy Adante – an OB-GYN in Chicago – makes it a point to see where her patients are on Friday. Looking at the details, she was amazed at the lengths people had gone to for her routine services. People came from Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana to get abortions.

“Overwhelmingly, the response was the same. Thank you for looking out for me,” Adente told Insider. “They went around all these obstacles and traveled far from home, but they were the ones thanking me, it was so profound,” she said.

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, traveling hundreds or thousands of miles for an abortion has become the new norm. Those living in the 13 states with “trigger laws” — where abortion is immediately banned or severely restricted — have few options.

Healthcare providers are at a crossroads.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research organization, one in four Americans will have an abortion by age 45.

Addante agrees with many that abortion bans make life-saving health care difficult for the most vulnerable in society. While welcoming those from out of state, she said the consequences of the SCOTUS decision will be longer wait times for appointments and an increase in pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality.

The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of the 10 other developed countries. In the year In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the maternal mortality rate was about 24 deaths per 100,000 live births.

“We know that by denying people reproductive health, we are increasing their risk of pregnancy complications,” Adente told Insider.

Another fallout from the ruling is its impact on health care providers.

“It’s really intellectual and emotional, that you can’t do the job you’re trained to do because you think a politician knows more than you and your patient,” she says.

After the Supreme Court’s decision on June 24, Illinois became abortion-free. In the year In 2020, doctors in the state performed 9,686 out-of-state abortions, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Planned Parenthood Illinois told Insider it expects that number to double or triple in light of the ruling.

Since June 24th, the phones at these clinics have been ringing non-stop with health care providers not only booking appointments but also addressing issues related to travel expenses and child care.

“How do we help someone who lives in three states? How do we help someone who doesn’t have gas money or child care for children they already have?” “I’m angry that someone’s zip code now knows what kind of health care they get,” Adente said.

‘I think this is just the tip of the iceberg.’

Addante knows what it’s like to work in a state where abortion is restricted. Before working in Chicago, she spent six years in Missouri, which has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in America. She remembers that she has to turn patients.

“It’s one of the worst feelings in the world as a physician to be told you can’t take care of someone. It’s not because you don’t have the skill set, it’s because you’re not legally allowed to.” She said.

Adente said the verdict made her stand out. She said she now feels even more committed to providing abortion care.

“I think this is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m worried it’s going to get worse … and as a mother myself and as a person – this is what I do for a living, it’s just, it’s so sad,” she said.

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