Supreme Court abortion debate: Illinois prepared for out-of-state patients

NOW: Supreme Court abortion debate: Illinois prepared for out-of-state patients

ILLINOIS/WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- The potential for the overturning of Roe v. Wade would create a stark difference in abortion laws between Wisconsin and neighboring Illinois. 

While Wisconsin would see a ban on most abortions, Illinois laws would protect a woman's right to choose. 

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state has seen an increase in out-of-state patients getting abortions every year since 2014. The most recent data available showed 531 patients from Wisconsin received abortions in Illinois in 2020 alone. 

The closest provider in Illinois is in Waukegan. 

Planned Parenthood of Illinois says if Roe v. Wade is overturned, it's prepared to handle an influx of patients from out of state, including Wisconsin. 

"We've been preparing for this the whole time, so one of the reasons why we built that health center in Waukegan was to welcome patients from Wisconsin and other states that we suspected would restrict access," said Jennifer Welch, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois. 

The organization says it works with partners in Wisconsin to offer things like telehealth, transportation, lodging and more. 


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