LOUISVILLE, Ky. — One month after abortion became illegal again in Kentucky, groups helping Kentuckians access the procedure say patients have been traveling to Indiana and Illinois.
After Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry temporarily blocked Kentucky’s two abortion bans, Attorney General Daniel Cameron appealed to the Kentucky Court of Appeals.
That court reinstated the bans a month ago and the Kentucky Supreme Court denied a request for emergency relief by abortion providers.
“As of right now in Kentucky, you cannot access an abortion,” said Tamarra Wieder, Kentucky State Director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates.
Patient navigators have been working as case managers to help with travel needs, she said.
“The need for abortion care hasn’t decreased since Roe fell,” Wieder told Spectrum News 1. “EMW (Women’s Surgical Center) and Planned Parenthood are having to move our patients to Indiana, most likely for the next two weeks, but beyond that, it is Illinois and they’re going to be seeing patients, not only from Kentucky, but from surrounding states as well.”
The Kentucky Health Justice Network is currently averaging about 40 calls a week, sometimes more, from patients seeking abortion and practical support, according to Erin Smith, the executive director.
Most are going to Illinois, Smith said.
In November, voters will be asked whether the Kentucky Constitution should be amended to say, “To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”
“We are going to see Kentuckians turn out en masse to say no to this amendment that will take further health care decisions out of their hands,” said Wieder.
Meanwhile, the Yes for Life Alliance, made up of groups in favor of the amendment, is asking voters to sign a pledge to vote yes and to join at them at the polls.
Amendment 2 will be on the ballot on Nov. 8.