INDIANAPOLIS — At the stroke of midnight on September 15, abortion became virtually Illegal in the state of Indiana. However, resource centers, abortion funds and abortion providers have been seeing an influx of people seeking abortion since before the law took effect.
"A busy week for the fund would have looked like 30 applications, 30 people leaving voicemails saying I need funding,” Jessica Marchbank the State Programs Manager of All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center said. “Now we are averaging 90-100 a week."
Marchbank’s resource center is in Bloomington Indiana. Along with providing moms in need of free diapers and other baby supplies she also runs the Hoosier abortion fund. She says the majority of the women seeking abortions she speaks with are mothers already.
"I talk to people every single day who say I cannot afford to have another baby either because of my health or because I can't afford the children that I already have but I also can’t afford to have an abortion,” Marchbank said. “Or I can't find a way to get to Illinois. The ban that our lawmakers have insisted upon is going to place so many families under undue burden."
The resource center says in April of this year they pledged $19,000 which helped fund just over 100 abortions. Last month (August) they pledged $90,000 dollars to 370 people.
Across state lines in Illinois abortion providers like Planned Parenthood have already been seeing more out-of-state patients. They have increased the number of clinics they have and the number of staff they have hired.
"Over the past two months since the decision, about 30 percent of all of the abortion patients that we see at PPIL come from a state outside of Illinois,” Julie Uhal the state abortion expansion program manager for Planned Parenthood Illinois said. b“That’s compared to prior to the decision it was around 6% every month."
Projections from Planned Parenthood Predict that they will see around 20,000-30,0000 more abortion patients every year. That’s on top of what they already handle. They expect to see more people seeking them for medical and sometimes life-saving reasons as well.
“We have had patients who are sitting in an emergency room with an ectopic pregnancy for hours while their doctor is consulting with hospitals lawyers on whether or not they can give care to that patient," Uhal said.
The day the abortion ban went into effect, Planned Parenthood Illinois announced they are expanding services at their Champaign Urbana clinic. This clinic will be the closest access point for most Hoosiers seeking an abortion.
Back in Indiana Jessica Marchbank plans to continue helping women seeking abortions, no matter what happens.
"They have really underestimated the direct economic consequences of the choices they've made,” Marchbank said. “The people of Indiana are going to suffer and that is on our lawmakers.”
The organizations we spoke to for this story say if women are seeking an abortion there are websites they can visit to make sure they are accessing it through a reputable source. The links below were provided as resources.
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