Activist state

Abortion rights advocates brace for more out-of-state patients

GREENWICH VILLAGE, Manhattan (PIX11) – Abortion rights activists in New York expect more than a quarter of a million women from out of state to come to New York for abortions if Roe v. Wade is canceled. Perhaps as many as 22 states plan to limit abortions if that happens.

“I wasn’t shocked or surprised,” said Merle Hoffman, an abortion rights activist. “I saw it coming. And I was trying to tell everyone around me that it was coming.

Hoffman has been on the front lines of the battle against abortion for 51 years, even before Roe v. Wade from becoming the law of the land. She founded and is president of Choices Women’s Medical Center in Queens, one of the nation’s first abortion clinics.

Hoffman is now preparing for the possibility that Roe v. Wade is knocked down. “Not every woman will be able to have an abortion,” Hoffman said. “Some will be too poor. Others won’t get the information or won’t be able to come to New York.

Hoffman said she is already seeing more and more women from out of state arriving at the Queens facility, particularly from Texas, Ohio, Alabama and Georgia, where abortion laws are becoming increasingly restrictive. Although there are many volunteer groups to help out-of-state patients, they need more funds.

“It will also mean that any support systems for feminist volunteers to provide hotel rooms and escort services will have to raise more money and expand,” Hoffman said.

Some estimate that New York could become the closest abortion provider for 280,000 women if Roe v. Wade is canceled. At Planned Parenthood Greater New York, they’re adding more telehealth appointments and more online appointments, hiring patient navigators, and expanding access in the southern part.

“Nothing will stop abortion,” Hoffman said. “The question here is will women die from illegal abortions or can we have it as a safe medical procedure. This is the real question.