GREENWICH VILLAGE, Manhattan (PIX11) — Abortion-rights activists in New York expect more than a quarter of a million out-of-state women to come to New York seeking abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned. 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 have seen it coming. And I was trying to tell everyone around me it’s coming.”
Hoffman has been on the front lines of the abortion battle for 51 years, even before Roe v. Wade became the law of the land. She founded and is president of Choices Women’s Medical Center in Queens, one of the first abortion clinics in the country.
Hoffman is now preparing for the possibility that Roe v. Wade will be overturned. “Not all women will be able to get abortions,” Hoffman said. “Some will be too poor. Others won’t get the information or cannot come to New York.”
Hoffman said she is already seeing more and more out-of-state women arriving at the Queens facility, specifically from Texas, Ohio, Alabama and Georgia, where abortion laws are growing more restrictive. While there are many volunteer groups to help out-of-state patients, they need more funds.
“It will also mean that all of the support systems by volunteer feminists to provide hotel rooms and escort services, they’ll have to raise more money and grow,” Hoffman said.
Some estimate New York could become the nearest abortion provider for 280,000 women if Roe v. Wade is struck down. At Planned Parenthood Greater New York, they are adding more telehealth appointments and more online appointments, hiring patient navigators and expanding access in the Southern Tier.
“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. That’s the real question.”