HORRY COUNTY S.C. (WBTW) — Planned Parenthood Health Centers in the Carolinas are gearing up for an increase in calls from patients from other areas of the country looking for abortion care after the Supreme Overturned Roe v. Wade.
Planned Parenthood South Atlantic operates 14 health centers across North and South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.
In South Carolina, planned parenthood officials said they currently offer abortion by pills and surgical abortion.
Senior Director of External Affairs Alison Kiser said to prepare for these calls, they will expand the hours their health centers are open, hire more staff and expand their facilities where they can.
Officials said they are also investing more in their patient navigation system.
They hope more staff will be available to talk with patients about what new barriers they may be facing.
“Of course provides resources for the increased cost of doing things like provide resources for the increased cost of doing things like you know, traveling many hundreds of miles, getting childcare, hotel stays, etc. to make sure that they can get the care that they need,” Kiser said.
Abortions after about six weeks are now banned in South Carolina.
Health centers that offer abortions in the state now have to navigate patients to other states once a pregnancy passes that point.
Kiser said they will continue to offer abortions by pills and surgical abortions at their Charleston and Columbia health centers, just within the scope of the new law.
She said Planned Parenthood has been getting ready for how it would handle these new abortion restrictions for a long time.
“Hiring patient navigators to help people navigate this healthcare ecosystem and get the care they need and provide the resources they will need to travel to a neighboring state within our network to access legal abortion care,” Kiser said.
Kiser said 60% of their patients are already parents.
“Everyone’s situation is unique, and everyone’s reason for seeking abortion care is valid, because abortion is healthcare, and it’s a vital part of reproductive health care that should never be left in the hands of politicians,” she said.