Low-income, rural, and women of color will be most impacted by the state's trigger ban that has outlawed abortion in the Commonwealth. They'll now have to travel to neighboring states where the procedure remains legal.
Kentucky State Director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates Tamara Weider said in general, reproductive health groups have shifted gears to help transport patients to Illinois — or for those in the eastern part of the state, Virginia.
"Indiana is going into a special session next week and we expect them to ban abortion," said Weider. "So we are not seeing that as a long-term option for people in the surrounding area."
She emphasized that while they can no longer perform abortions, Planned Parenthood clinics in Kentucky remain open and are still providing comprehensive health services.
Patient navigators are on standby to assist those seeking resources at 1-800-230-7526.
Weider said advocacy groups in the state are mapping out what the landscape will look like for Kentucky women who now have to take more time off of work to travel out of state. She said many will require lodging and transportation assistance.
"And so we are coordinating our efforts across the different organizations working already in the state," said Weider. "So Planned Parenthood, the Kentucky Health Justice Network, the A fund."
This November, residents will vote on a constitutional amendment that would amend Kentucky's Constitution to state that nothing in that document protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion. Weider said there are no exemptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother.
"We have an opportunity to fight back," said Weider, "and keep our rights free and clear from these extreme measures that are coming from legislators not from Kentuckians. "
According to a poll released over the weekend, 59% of Americans — including 67 percent of women — disagree with the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
This story was originally published by Public News Service and is republished here with permission.