Texas abortion law spurs what some are calling 'Underground Railroad to Reproductive Freedom'

Lyanne Melendez Image
Saturday, September 4, 2021
CA abortion clinics receiving record-number of Texas patients
Just days following the Supreme Court's decision to not block the Texas Abortion Law, out-of-state organizations are bombarded with calls for help.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Just days following the Supreme Court's decision to not block the Texas Abortion Law, some out-of-state organizations have been bombarded with calls for help.

At first, Texas law said anyone there can sue another person for helping a woman get an abortion after six weeks.

But on Friday evening, the Texas court granted a temporary restraining order stopping Texas Right for Life from suing abortion providers and health care workers at Planned Parenthood health centers.

RELATED: Supreme Court refuses to block Texas abortion law on technical grounds

"Here in California we are already making appointments. We have appointments set already for next week for folks who are coming here," revealed Jodi Hicks, of Planned Parenthood California.

States like Oklahoma, Colorado, and Kansas have been receiving Texas clients at a record number.

"We have a network of doctors, abortion clinics, nurses, staff and we reached out to them a couple of weeks ago and we said 'this is likely coming, please let us know if you can take more staff, if you can take more appointments, can we send more folds, how can we help?'" said Karen Middleton, the president of Cobalt, a non-profit based in Colorado that helps to protect a woman's reproductive rights.

VIDEO: Thousands of anti-abortion activists 'Walk for Life' in San Francisco

Thousands of anti-abortion activists marched down Market Street in San Francisco Saturday, taking part in the 16th annual Walk for Life. Many say their cause has been strengthened since President Trump recently vowed his support.

The Cobalt Abortion Fund is also getting record donations from across the country to help transport, lodge and feed women to get to another state to obtain an abortion. Some are calling it the Underground Railroad to Reproductive Freedom. And yes, it has become overwhelming for some of those organizations like "Fund Texas Choice."

ABC7 News called and found they were already out of money for this month.

The recording says, "We are currently at capacity and cannot assist with travel for the month of September."

RELATED: Planned Parenthood leaves federal family planning program because of abortion rule

In 2020, Planned Parenthood California received 7,000 out-of-state patients. They are now also focusing on other states ready to replicate the abortion law in Texas.

"I've been hearing Florida, Kentucky, Arizona. I'm sure by the end of the day, they'll be more that are using Texas as a blueprint," added Hicks.

Meanwhile, Lyft and Uber, both based in San Francisco, announced they will cover all legal fees for Texas drivers sued while transporting a woman to a clinic to get an abortion. Lyft will also donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood "to ensure that transportation is never a barrier to healthcare access."