A Mobile Abortion Facility at a Church? Planned Parenthood is Considering Just That| National Catholic Register

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The RV will drive along the border of Illinois — a state with liberal abortion laws — to cater to pregnant women in neighboring states that are restricting abortion.

A Mobile Abortion Facility at a Church? Planned Parenthood is Considering Just That| National Catholic Register
Planned Parenthood facility in Mountain View, Calif.
Planned Parenthood facility in Mountain View, Calif. (photo: Sundry / Shutterstock)

Katie Yoder/CNANationOctober 5, 2022

Planned Parenthood is responding to state abortion restrictions by trying something new: an abortion facility on wheels. It will send its first one — a 37-foot abortion RV — to Illinois, where it will offer abortions at various locations by the end of this year.

As the nation’s largest abortion provider maps the best routes for the mobile facility, it is considering churches, as “potential stopping-off points,” NPR reported Monday.

The mobile facility could be the first of many. Planned Parenthood is keeping open the possibility of creating additional ones in the future, the outlet reported officials as saying. The news follows the Supreme Court’s June decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and leave abortion policy up to the states.

The abortion RV will drive along the border of Illinois — a state with liberal abortion laws — to cater to pregnant women in neighboring states that are restricting abortion after Roe. More specifically, the vehicle will travel near the borders of southeastern Missouri, western Kentucky and northeastern Tennessee while staying in Illinois, according to the AP.

A pro-life group in that state condemned the decision.

“Planned Parenthood’s announcement of a mobile abortion unit that will travel the southern portion of Illinois is further proof that the abortion industry will stop at nothing to expand the killing of preborn children at the expense of women’s health and safety,” ​​Amy Gehrke, the executive director of Illinois Right to Life, responded in a press release Tuesday.

This year, the vehicle will hand out abortion pills up to 11 weeks’ gestation, NPR reported. Next year, it plans to offer surgical abortions.

“Rather than being the simple solution abortion advocates claim, chemical abortions often lead to massive bleeding and pain,” Gehrke cautioned about the abortion pills. “Women may also have to dispose of their child’s developing body. Finally, chemical abortions have an alarmingly high complication rate, four times that of surgical abortion.”

In 2021, the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm for SBA Pro-Life America, cited a study looking at more than 42,000 abortions in Finland from 2000 to 2006, which found chemical abortion has a complication rate four times greater than that of surgical abortion. 

The FDA first approved mifepristone, which is paired with another drug called misoprostol, for earlier abortions in 2000. It is accepted for use up to 10 weeks’ gestation.

Dr. Colleen McNicholas, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis office, told NPR that women will consume mifepristone, the first drug, at the clinic. Women will swallow the other, misoprostol, on their own. 

“The mobile abortion clinic is a way to reduce travel times and distances in order to meet patients at the Illinois border,” McNicholas told the AP. 

The RV will feature a small waiting area, laboratory, and two exam rooms. 

Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri did not respond with comment by time of publication.

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