Wisconsin physicians will travel to Illinois to perform abortions under new Planned Parenthood partnership
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Planned Parenthood Wisconsin and Planned Parenthood Illinois are expanding abortion access for those living in Wisconsin.
The overturn of Roe v. Wade banned the practice of abortion in Wisconsin. Planned Parenthood announced on Thursday, July 14 that Wisconsin abortion providers will now be traveling to the Waukegan, Illinois clinic to expand their abortion care.
The partnership will address the influx of patients that Illinois abortion clinics have seen in the last month, many of which are from out of state.
Planned Parenthood said the patient demand is ten times larger in Illinois since early June.
Planned Parenthood leaders say they've been working on a partnership between Wisconsin and Illinois for over a year, with concerns about Wisconsin's laws and the future of Roe v. Wade.
Many of Planned Parenthood's Wisconsin abortion providers will now be licensed in both Wisconsin and Illinois to provide patient care.
"We knew that there would be a wealth of trained, specialized medical professionals who would be barred from providing the healthcare that they are licensed to perform in Wisconsin," said Kristen Schultz, PPIL's Chief Strategy and Operations Officer. "The majority of the team in Wisconsin providing abortion care have stepped up to meet that patient need."
This expansion in providers doubles the abortion provision at the Waukegan clinic.
The partnership also expands Planned Parenthood's Patient Navigation team, working one-on-one with patients to help find clinics, funding, and most often, transportation.
"Whether people need transportation support for a drive, a bus ticket or a train ticket, whatever it is really, we work to make that available to them, said Tanya Atkinson, the President of PPWI.
Wisconsin's abortion law bans physicians from performing abortions in the state. The partnership has endured legal review to ensure those traveling to Illinois for the practice will be legally protected.
"In addition to patients, our primary concern is to ensure that our physicians will not be put at risk," Atkinson said.
There are 22 Planned Parenthood clinics operating in Wisconsin. While abortion has been paused at those clinics, all are still open, providing information for abortion in other states, access to birth control, cancer screenings and other reproductive healthcare.