Southern Illinois abortion clinics report higher patient numbers after Florida’s abortion ban.

Estimated read time 4 min read

Following the nearly complete abortion prohibition in Florida, southern Illinois clinics are seeing more patients from Southeast U.S. Additional staff have been hired at places Hope Clinic in Granite City to manage the surge. Many people need financial aid for their procedures, co-owner Julie Burkhart says.

As Burkhart explains, they expected this outcome. The Florida law banned abortions post six weeks gestation starting 1. Previously, Florida permitted abortions until 15 weeks which was critical for women from southern states with stricter laws. In 2023 around 84,000 women had their abortions in Florida meaning this accounted for close to one out of twelve nationwide.


Demand is rising and there are some new services as a result.

LaQuetta Cooper who is Vice President of Patient Services for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri says phone calls increased by 10% two weeks into May from women needing abortions at Fairview Heights clinic while they’ve upped appointment availability accordingly too.

A new service has been introduced by Planned Parenthood to meet growing demand supplying medication abortion pills via the PP Direct mobile app without an in person visit needed. It applies to patients up to ten weeks pregnant who are eligible based on their answers to screening questions on the app and are able to receive pills via mail. This approach should free up room at clinics for those travelling from out-of-state Cooper suggests.

Challenges and Preparations

The ban has led to more patients even in states closer to Florida like North Carolina and Virginia, but some facilities are finding it hard to keep pace with roughly a third seeing wait times for appointments increase. Three new clinics opened in Carbondale Illinois since the Supreme Court decided against Roe v. Wade in 2022 helping to meet demand.

Carbondale is roughly 100 miles south of Metro East clinics and is served by an Amtrak route linking Chicago, Memphis, and New Orleans. The city’s providers rely heavily on charitable organizations like the Chicago Abortion Fund and the Midwest Access Coalition for financial assistance supporting things like travel, accommodation, and childcare costs.


There are concerns about how long they can continue

Longterm stability is a concern for many. Julie Burkhart shares these fears due to increasing numbers of out-of-state patients. They’re not sure how much longer can this be sustained at current levels.

Illinois has seen the largest increase in abortions nationally following the decision by the Supreme Court almost seventy one percent more in eighteen months after. In 2023, Illinois saw 37,700 more abortions than three years previously mostly from out-of-state patients looking for help.


Clinics have had to adapt operationally too.

Amy Addante works at Planned Parenthood in Fairview Heights where she says clinic hours have been extended six days a week today to accommodate patient wait times while a Regional Logistics Center has coordinated about $2.5 million funds benefiting five thousand patients through donations and support from abortion funds it was launched prior to Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v.

Since Carbondale opened a clinic mid-December states Julie Uhal who serves as Abortion Expansion Manager for Illinois Planned Parenthood ninety percent of its abortion patients are from outside Illinois showing just how crucial it is as a provider to women affected by restrictive legal changes elsewhere.

Future Outlook

The full impact from Florida’s ban along with other harsh measures remains unclear but Andrea Gallegos working at Alamo Women’s Clinic in Carbondale adds they are aware of the potential need for more staffing or extended hours.

 Rising Costs

There has been a significant increase in costs as well associated with helping patients. Midwest Access Coalition reports that the average cost to aid a patient has shot up to $1,200 versus $350 over two years ago. They often need to stop accepting new clients until they have caught up. Thursday and occasionally earlier is when phone lines get closed a sign that it’s hit full capacity as Alison Dreith, Midwest Access Coalition’s Director of Strategic Partnerships explains.


As things change abortion providers in Illinois are adapting and continuing to focus on patient care from strict states regarding abortion laws. Maintaining these practices given heavier demand and rising costs will be an important objective going forward for them.

Celina Brooks

Celina Brooks from Mussoorie is a Writer & Researcher. She earned her Engineering degree in IT from Rutgers University. She is a technology enthusiast but loves writing and talking about local news as well. She is a jolly person with 2 children.

+ There are no comments

Add yours