Sunday, December 2, 2018
From the Chicago Tribune:
One woman came to Chicago by bus from Indianapolis in mid-2017, pregnant but with medical complications that would have made labor and delivery potentially dangerous. Another woman traveled here from Wisconsin in March because she didn’t have the financial means or will to have a baby.
Although they were strangers, 28-year-old Timna Axel hosted them in her Uptown neighborhood apartment for a few nights before and after their abortions at local clinics. Axel is a volunteer with Midwest Access Coalition, a Chicago nonprofit that helps defray the costs associated with traveling to terminate a pregnancy, including lodging, food and transportation.
“It seems like a lot of these (nearby) states have increased the barriers to abortion and other health care for women in recent years,” she said. “It doesn’t seem right there should be this island of health care access in Chicago.”
More women are crossing state lines to have abortions in Illinois, according to the latest statistics from the Illinois Department of Public Health, which were released earlier this week.
Last year, 5,528 women traveled to Illinois from other states to terminate pregnancies, almost a thousand more than the 4,543 women who came from out of state in 2016. The total number of abortions statewide during the same period increased slightly, from 38,382 in 2016 to 39,329 in 2017, according to annual state reports. Of those, about 1,000 abortions each year were provided to women whose home states were marked “unknown.”
While the data doesn’t indicate the reason for out-of-state travel, Illinois is generally considered a reproductive rights haven amid the more restrictive Midwest, where women often face waiting periods, gestational limits, fewer clinics and other hurdles.
Read more here.