Planned Parenthood Illinois sees an increase in the number of patients from other states

Planned Parenthood of Illinois said Monday that the organization has seen an “unprecedented” increase in the number of people seeking reproductive care from other states in the two years since the U.S. Supreme Court's 2022 decision allowing states to impose their own abortion restrictions.

Planned Parenthood said it has treated patients from 41 states over the past two years, representing about 25% of all patients treated at its 19 on-site facilities and two virtual facilities across Illinois.

Overall, the group said it has seen a 47% increase in patient numbers over the past two years since the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee a right to abortion, overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision that upheld the former.

According to Planned Parenthood, most patients come from border states such as Wisconsin and Indiana, which have more restrictive abortion laws.

Abortion in Illinois: “Stronger than ever”: Planned Parenthood clinic in Peoria reopens after firebombing

The organization reported that it has also seen more patients from places like Tennessee and Kentucky, with many of them traveling to the recently opened facility in Carbondale for treatment.

According to Planned Parenthood, 90 percent of abortion patients at the Carbondale practice, which opened last December, come from 16 different states, with seven states topping the list – Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Indiana, Arkansas, Alabama and Missouri.

The Carbondale facility also saw a 20% increase in the number of people coming from out of state seeking gender reassignment treatment, compared to just 5% at other Illinois facilities.

At the same time as opening the Carbondale facility, Planned Parenthood also opened new offices in Flossmoor and Waukegan, while expanding the services offered at its Champaign facility and moving into new offices in Chicago's North Loop.

“Incredible need”

Jennifer Welch, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois, said in a press release that the increased response shows that there continues to be demand for the reproductive services the organization provides every day.

“We know that banning or restricting abortion will not eliminate the need for abortion services,” Welch said. “The flood of health care refugees coming to Carbondale Health Center demonstrates the tremendous need for basic sexual and reproductive care, such as abortion and gender reassignment care.”

In central Illinois, Planned Parenthood maintains facilities in Peoria, Springfield, Bloomington, Decatur and Champaign, all of which offer varying levels of reproductive services. Both the Champaign and Springfield facilities offer surgical abortion procedures, while the Peoria, Bloomington and Decatur facilities offer only the medications needed for an abortion without surgery.

The Peoria facility recently reopened following renovations following a firebombing in January 2023.

A Chillicothe man, 32-year-old Tyler W. Massengill, threw a Molotov cocktail through a window of the facility on January 15, 2023, out of frustration that his girlfriend had an abortion against his will. He pleaded guilty a month later and was sentenced to 10 years in prison on federal charges of malicious use of fire and explosives to damage a building.

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Anna Harden

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