DES MOINES, Iowa — The United States Supreme Court’s reversal on abortion is causing reproductive rights groups to scramble.
Proactive thinking has helped create a new position at Planned Parenthood that is guiding patients seeking abortions to Iowa.
“We have patient navigators in place and their job is really to connect patients looking for abortion care within whatever state it might be that they can get that care, getting them the resources they need to get there to have a safe and legal abortion,” said Sheena Dooley who serves as communications manager for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa.
These patient navigators were formed directly out of and in preparation of Friday’s ruling. The navigators for Planned Parenthood North Central States are helping patients in a five state region that includes Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska where abortions are still legal, but also North Dakota and South Dakota where trigger laws have now banned the procedure.
Planned Parenthood advocates of Iowa communications manager Sheena Dooley says it is too early for specific data but they are seeing a strong increase in calls throughout the region with people looking to make appointments for a safe and legal abortion.
The five state region is also actively bracing and prepping for what could happen if Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is successful in reinstating the fetal heartbeat bill which would ban abortions in Iowa after six weeks. Dooley said, “Iowans deserve the right to control their bodies and their futures. Governor Reynolds is really wanting to take us back decades in time by forcing pregnancy on Iowans which is really a gross violation of their human rights.”
For anyone looking to speak with a patient navigator just call your local Planned Parenthood organization.