KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Planned Parenthood quietly opened a new abortion clinic in Kansas City, Kansas, this summer, a location that didn’t draw much attention until after Kansans affirmed the right to an abortion with Tuesday’s historic vote.
The new health center at 60th Street and Leavenworth Road opened June 28, shortly after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, said spokeswoman Anamarie Rebori Simmons. Missouri and Oklahoma both enacted trigger bans in the wake of the ruling.
Planned Parenthood began planning the Wyandotte County location in 2019, Simmons.
Beset by construction delays, it opened with little fanfare and is operating on shorter hours while staff is still being hired, Simmons said.
“We recognize while Tuesday night’s overwhelming response from Kansans indicated that access to abortion could be protected across the state, we recognized the need for additional care, both sexual and reproductive health and primary care, in Kansas City, Kansas, long before Tuesday and the Supreme Court decision,” said Simmons.
“This was an important next step for us in terms of ensuring access to care. But the need was recognized long before Tuesday.”
Before this clinic opened, Kansas had four centers that provided abortions: two in Overland Park and two in Wichita.
“What we know as a provider of health services, when care is not available at the local level, it’s not truly accessible,” Emily Wales, CEO and president of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, said Wednesday. “Many patients can figure out how to get across state lines.”
But for some, the trip is complicated by the cost of traveling and coordinating it with child care. And for those patients, “they will not access care. So we are committed to providing it over the four states we serve.”
The proposed constitutional amendment would have paved the way for the state Legislature to further restrict or ban abortion in the state.