With abortion rights facing new restrictions, providers prepare for a potential 'post-Roe' future

Abortion clinics work to ensure access and increase capacity in anticipation

People participate in the Houston Women's March
People participate in the Houston Women's March against the Texas SB 8 abortion ban on Oct. 2, 2021 in Houston.
Melissa Phillip | Houston Chronicle via AP file

While the right to an abortion has been constitutionally protected in Minnesota since 1995 under the Doe v. Gomez court ruling, providers are bracing for a future in which abortion will be drastically restricted.

In just the last weeks, Idaho and Oklahoma have both passed six-week abortion bans modeled after Texas’ controversial SB 8 law. In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release a ruling on the Dobbs v. Jackson case this summer that could go as far as overturning almost 50 years of abortion rights.

The swift tightening of abortion rights has created a sudden wave of people traveling sometimes hundreds of miles to other states, including Minnesota, to seek care.

Dr. Julie Amaon of Just the Pill, a telehealth medication and birth control provider, spoke with guest host Nina Moini on Friday. She said the “already stretched” Minnesota clinics are going to be stretched even thinner if Roe v. Wade does get overturned in June.

Just the Pill, which uses text and phone to bring services to people in rural areas and states with limited or no access, plans to increase its staffing in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s ruling. It also plans to create mobile vans equipped to offer abortion care to meet the rise in need.

Things may be tough already but Amaon predicts “things are going to get a lot worse” for patients — such as increased wait times and availability of funds — if Roe falls and federal protections for the right to abortion no longer exist.

What exactly this “post-Roe” future will look like is, for the moment, to be seen, but Amaon said providers like Just the Pill are preparing nonetheless.

To hear more about Just the Pill and the state of abortion access in Minnesota with Dr. Amaon, use the audio player above.

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