WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — While the debate continues over the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, abortion services will be changed. Wichita has an abortion provider right now, and they are expecting more patients after Friday’s ruling.
The Trust Women Foundation in Wichita says our region is placed in an “abortion desert.” The concern now is that desert will grow much bigger as other states’ trigger laws go into effect—potentially causing patients to be turned away.
“We have had calls from people who are in the waiting room of clinics that are no longer able to help them,” said Zack Gingrich-Gaylord, the Communications Director of Trust Women.
Gingrich-Gaylord says one of the biggest concerns from the region’s abortion clinic system is that it won’t be able to handle an influx of even more out-of-state patients.
“We’re seeing around 60% of our patients over the past 10 months have been from out-of-state,” said Gingrich-Gaylord.
Gingrich-Gaylord says the clinic has been a majority out-of-state provider since September of 2021 with the passing of Texas Senate Bill 8, also known as the Texas Heartbeat Act, which bans abortion after the detection of embryonic or fetal cardiac activity (that normally occurs after about six weeks of pregnancy). Friday’s Supreme Court ruling added more strain to an already overworked system.
“We’ve been averaging 500 calls a day in our clinics. We are booked and have been booked for the past 10 months about two to three weeks out,” said Gingrich-Gaylord.
This comes as the charge from abortion rights and anti-abortion activists continues heading to the Value Them Both amendment vote on August 2.
“Going door-to-door, making phone calls, we had lots of different events across the state, so I’m sure that there are going to be ways that we are engaging, but this has always been our campaign strategy,” said Brittanie Jones, a Value Them Both Coalition spokesperson.
Jones says while the amendment is not a total ban on abortion, the coalition plans to continue their work pushing anti-abortion legislation long after the vote.
“We have three laws that already have been struck down, and we are going to take action to protect those laws and to re-enact those laws,” said Jones.
The Value Them Both amendment is on the August Primary Ballot. If you would like to participate in that vote, you have until July 12 to register.
Even though the vote is happening during a primary, every registered voter, regardless of party affiliation, is able to vote on this constitutional amendment.