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Planned Parenthood quietly opened new Kansas abortion clinic after Supreme Court ruling

Lisa Gutierrez and Katie Bernard, The Kansas City Star on

Published in News & Features

That area of Wyandotte County “was identified as a community where there could be a need for additional providers,” she said.

Since 2018, the only abortion clinics in the Kansas City area were the Planned Parenthood in Overland Park and the Overland Park Center for Women’s Health.

Even before Missouri banned most abortions in June, Missouri women were coming to Kansas for abortions. In 2021, 44% of abortions in Kansas were for Missouri residents. For at least five years, more than 40% of Kansas’ abortions were performed for Missouri patients.

Kansas abortion clinics were flooded with calls after Roe v. Wade was overturned but could not meet the demand.

Simmons said Planned Parenthood is “always looking at ways to expand access where we can.” But right now, fresh off of Tuesday’s win, everyone is taking a quick breath before considering the future.

Wales said abortion care in this part of the country was already regional before Roe v. Wade was struck down. “We didn’t have enough providers in the Midwest and South, so patients were often looking across state lines,” she said.

 

In the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision, the health centers in the Great Plains system fielded twice as many calls as they usually do, she said, calls from Texas, too, “as people were scrambling.”

“At the end of the day, Kansas still only has five” abortion clinics, she said.

Trust Women, a clinic in Wichita, recently finished renovations aimed at expanding their capacity.

In a statement after the vote Tuesday, the clinic indicated plans to expand access across the state. The clinic is currently engaged in a lawsuit that seeks to strike down Kansas’ prohibition on telemedicine abortions.

“Our priority in the coming months and years will include continuing to provide high-quality abortion care for Kansans and pregnant people across the region, as well as organizing and legislative work to expand and restore meaningful access to local abortions for all Kansans,” the statement said.

©2022 The Kansas City Star. Visit kansascity.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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