Abortion clinics in California are getting ready for a potentially massive influx of people coming to the state to get abortions if Roe v. Wade is struck down.
“It is a little intimidating to know those numbers and influx will happen, but it’s certainly not anything we’re not ready for,” Lauren Babb, the vice president of public affairs at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, told local outlet KCRA.
As The Daily Wire reported, around half of the states in the country will limit abortions if Roe vs. Wade is overturned. The Guttmacher Institute, a supporter of abortion rights, wrote, “23 states have laws that could be used to restrict the legal status of abortion” while noting that “16 states and the District of Columbia have laws that protect the right to abortion.”
California has been preparing for this possibility for some time. Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom has already made the point that the Golden State will be a sanctuary for women seeking to get an abortion who are not able to get one in their home states.
“Our responsibility is to others, not just to the few 40 million proud Californians, but others and so we’ll have to do more. We’ll have to do better,” Newsom said.
KCRA reported that Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, which has around 30 centers in California, said it has been operating to ensure it can take on a possible spike in demand. Babb told the outlet that more clinicians, providers, and employees had been brought on.
Health centers are also reportedly being reconstructed for additional exam rooms. Some anticipate having 200-500 patients per week from other states if abortion is made illegal in other areas of the United States.
Planned Parenthood is also keeping a close watch on some of the bills considered by California lawmakers about abortion. The governor, along with other progressive Democrats, is reportedly trying to add an amendment to the state’s constitution. The amendment, which Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) said she is planning to introduce, would definitively declare that abortion is a right that is protected.
“We will not back down. We will double down,” Atkins said. “If the Supreme Court of the United States won’t protect our bodily autonomy, California will make sure our constitution leaves no room for confusion.”
Babb also pointed out that one proposed bill in California could benefit Planned Parenthood by permitting some nurse practitioners to carry out abortions without being observed by a physician.
The overturning of Roe v. Wade appears to be more of a possibility in recent days after a draft majority opinion was leaked by Politico on Monday night, showing that five of the nine justices would decide to overturn the prior ruling.
It is still unclear who leaked the document from inside the high court. In it, Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” and sent the wider pro-abortion world into a panic.
If the majority opinion draft turns out to be the final decision, laws on abortion would once again be decided on a state-by-state basis.