JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In the week since the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade, a Jacksonville-area woman’s health clinic says the number of patients it’s seen has doubled.
Some women said they’ve driven 1,000 miles in the last seven days to the Planned Parenthood in Jacksonville because they can’t get an abortion in their state — but anti-abortion advocates say there are many options other than an abortion.
On Thursday, a Florida judge said he’d temporarily block a 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect Friday. In his ruling, Judge John C. Cooper said Florida’s law was “unconstitutional in that it violates the privacy provision of the Florida Constitution.” Gov. Ron DeSantis has vowed to fight the decision.
Anti-abortion advocates, like Eleanor Ascheman, say the ban will be approved.
“Our right to medical privacy is very different than our right to abortion, so I think that it’ll get appealed. I think it will get overturned,” Ascheman said.
Ascheman says Students for Life of America is launching a multi-city abortion-free zone campaign to make abortion unlawful and unthinkable while raising funds for women giving birth to a child they don’t want.
According to the Center of Reproduction Rights, five states immediately banned abortions: South Dakota, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Alabama following the Supreme Court’s decision last week.
Jessica Wannemacher, a local Planned Parenthood manager, says people are coming from all around the country get abortion services in Jacksonville, and in some cases they’re traveling a thousand miles.
“This past week alone, we saw over 40 patients that have traveled from multiple states in the country including Tennessee, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Yexas to name a few,” Wannemacher said.
Their workload has increase from 30 to 40 patients a day for overall services to 65 at 70 patients a day.
I think they are scared that they are not going to receive the care that they deserve and they need,” Wannemacher said.
Some women now worry they’ll face criminal charges in their state for getting an abortion and believe their menstrual tracker would be used against them in a case.
The Flo app that tracks a woman’s entire cycle says in part: ”Some of you have expressed concern about how third parties might be able to access user health data from digital services. …We will do everything in our power to protect data and privacy of our users.”
While some states are pro-abortion rights, others are anti-abortion. And depending on each state’s stance could determine where women will go for help in the future.