Nation's first mobile abortion clinic to launch in Illinois by end of 2022: Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood
A now-closed Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis, Mo., where abortion is now banned. Planned Parenthood officials announced plans to bring a mobile abortion clinic to southern Illinois by the end of 2022. Photo credit Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

Planned Parenthood officials on Monday said they will launch the nation’s first mobile abortion clinic — offering medication abortions and eventually procedural abortions — in the border regions of southern Illinois by the end of the year.

The announcement comes 100 days after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. And it comes as wait times in Illinois for abortion procedures have skyrocketed from four days to two-and-a-half weeks, officials said.

“This 37-foot mobile abortion clinic will help reduce travel distances, wait times and other logistical barriers profoundly impacting patients in neighboring states where abortion is now banned,” said Yamelsie Rodriguez, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri.

The mobile unit, with two full exam rooms, will be located near the southern border of Illinois. Officials said the mobile unit will be running by the end of the year. It will not provide abortion care in Missouri, where abortion is now banned. Planned Parenthood said the goal is to try to see 30 patients a day.

The unit will initially offer medication abortion, but Planned Parenthood is planning to expand next year to allow for first trimester abortions in the mobile unit, said Dr. Colleen McNicholas, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood in Missouri.

Planned Parenthood also announced it is opening a health care center in Rolla, Missouri, which will also include vasectomy services and other health care for men. Officials said vasectomy appointments have doubled across Missouri and in southern Illinois since the Supreme Court decision.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire & Chicago Sun-Times 2022. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images