California abortion providers see surge in demand from Arizona after Supreme Court decision

Many of California’s abortion clinics have been bracing for the out-of-state surge since that draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked.
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 6:13 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- With all the confusion regarding Arizona’s two abortion laws, most abortion providers in the state have halted procedures, leaving some women looking to other states for services.

Many of California’s abortion clinics have been bracing for the out-of-state surge since that draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked.

“We’ve been preparing I can even say years, I mean, I can say years because in all honesty, the last presidential two presidential elections ago now, I guess, I think the writing was on the wall,” Dr. Toni Marengo, Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest, said.

California abortion clinics are already seeing an increase in demand from women in other states including Arizona.

When the high court’s decision came down on Friday morning, Dr. Marengo says her 19 clinics in San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial counties saw a 100% increase in demand for abortion services compared to the Friday before.

“I can tell you that there were nearly 80 patients that called just that day from Arizona who booked services with us for abortion care, that we were able to make appointments for,” Dr. Marengo said.

Dr. Marengo says not all Arizona patients are calling to schedule a future appointment, one pregnant Arizona woman hopped on a flight with nothing scheduled.

“I was visiting with my staff today in our San Diego health center and they cared for a patient who found out they were pregnant, needed services and flew into San Diego overnight to seek services and showed up without an appointment and we were able to accommodate,” she said.

According to a recent UCLA study, 50% of Arizona women who will now get an out-of-state abortion will travel to California for the procedure. That’s not the only neighboring state where abortion is legal. Abortion is also legal in New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada.

The nearest Planned Parenthood clinics in California are roughly 250 miles from the Phoenix area in El Centro and Coachella.

“We’ve done an excellent job preparing for a surge. I do feel that we are ready, but we also have levers that we’re going to need to pull if more people come than anticipated,” Dr. Marengo said.