NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Though the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, abortion is still legal in Connecticut. Local providers are predicting an increase in patients from states where abortion is now against the law.
Dr. Nancy Stanwood, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, is preparing for an influx of patients from out of state seeking abortions.
“I took an oath to make sure that patients can get the care that they need,” Stanwood said.
Stanwood said even before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, people were coming to their clinics all the way from Texas, which essentially banned abortions last fall.
“Most recently there was somebody who was pregnant from a sexual assault, and in Texas, rape is not an exception to have abortion care,” Stanwood said.
They’re expecting those numbers to rise. To get ready, they’re looking to extend office hours and work with affiliate and independent clinics if there’s overflow.
Soon, they’ll be able to expand the pool of providers that can serve patients.
“When more patients come, we need more providers to be able to give them the care,” Stanwood said.
Under a new state law that goes into effect July 1, Stanwood will get to train advanced practice clinicians to conduct procedural abortions.
The Reproductive Freedom Defense Act will also create a legal cause of action for providers and patients sued in another state, and help prevent the disclosure of medical records for those patients.
“We are looking at all options from the legal side to the clinical side to ensure that patients that come to our state feel confident that they have access to that care and not be criminalized,” said Gretchen Raffa, vice president of public policy, advocacy and organizing for Planned Parenthood Votes CT.
This is still a very fluid situation, but those working in abortion care in Connecticut say they’ll continue to respond to the need no matter what.