CA braces for influx of patients seeking services in wake of AZ abortion ban

Tara Campbell Image
Monday, April 15, 2024
CA braces for influx of patients in wake of AZ abortion ban
Arizona's Supreme Court revived a Civil War-era law banning nearly all abortions. California is prepping to be a safe haven for those affected.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In the wake of a near-total ban on abortions, protests broke out in Arizona over the weekend. Meanwhile, California braces for an influx of people seeking services across the state line.

"When we got access and choice, nobody at that time thought they'd ever take it away from us," said Linda Shapiro, who was protesting Sunday.

Last week, Arizona's Supreme Court revived a Civil War-era law banning nearly all abortions

"The overturning of Roe was, without any questions, seismic event and this ban here in Arizona is one of the biggest aftershocks yet," said Vice President Kamala Harris.

RELATED: Arizona GOP block quick push to repeal near-total abortion ban, which hasn't taken effect yet

Meanwhile Planned Parenthood is expecting a rush of patients into California.

"We have increased access for California patients and those fleeing other states," said Gilda Gonzales, CEO of Planned Parenthood, Northern California, noting the southern part of the state is likely to see the largest influx

"When there is a surge in one part of California, there are those of us in the northern section that can divert, and to support our Southern California Planned Parenthood affiliates," said Gonzales, adding California's already been serving as a safe haven for several years.

In 2021, a Texas law banning abortion as early as six-weeks triggered a wave of abortion bans across the U.S.

RELATED: Arizona can enforce an 1864 law criminalizing nearly all abortions, court says

"That's essentially when we started to serve out-of-state patients. We started to see numbers that we had never seen before," said Gonzales, noting they've been readying for an attack on reproductive rights for years.

"We started raising additional dollars and improving our systems in 2020 in anticipation of Roe being overturned. So we were already in preparation. And our other affiliates were doing much of the same work," she added.

Arizona's Supreme Court left a 14-day window open for lower courts to consider challenges to its decision, giving activist a chance to appeal the ruling.

"The next couple of weeks are pretty critical and that will tell us everything we need to know moving forward," Gonzales said.

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