Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas announced Friday that, thanks to increased donations as a “direct response” to the state’s new abortion law, the organization will expand its long-term birth control services such as IUDs and provide funding for patients to travel out of the state Getting abortions.
Elizabeth Cardwell, senior clinician for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, said she had received a larger number of calls asking about long-term birth control options since Senate Bill 8 was passed. The new law prohibits abortions after about 6 weeks of pregnancy.
“A much greater need for truly reliable contraception, especially an increase in the demand for long-acting reversible contraceptives. As with implants or intrauterine devices or IUDs, we are seeing this again, Senate Act 8, because there is such a small window for patients to get a safe and legal abortion in the state of Texas, “she said.
Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas is expanding access to health appointments for uninsured patients in 24 of its health centers in Austin, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Fort Worth, Lubbock, Paris, Plano, Tyler, Waco, and the surrounding communities. This expansion of services was due in part to donors, Cardwell said.
“With the generous donors we had, we were able to expand. So all of their services are covered, which was really key because our donors realized how desperate patients are to seek affordable care, “she said.
Cardwell says the increase in donations is a public response to SB 8.
“It is definitely a direct response to Senate 8 law. So while Senate 8 law is burdensome and genuinely harmful, you know those who have the least access to health care and may have access to safe and legal abortion, you Windows to access it and their access are so limited that donors have really topped up, ”she said.
The new initiative provides resources for those seeking an abortion in Texas under SB 8, specifically, Planned Parenthood will provide financial assistance to reduce the cost of abortions, assistance with travel expenses such as fuel cards, flights, housing, and other travel expenses. The organization will also be handing out take-away kits containing emergency contraceptives, early pregnancy tests and condoms.
“We have Travel Assistance Funds that help cover whatever they would really need so we can give guest cards for the gasoline they’ll be driving. We can give them bus tickets or plane tickets. We can give them money for housing and food. And again, just to help them reach centers, too, ”Cardwell said.
“We’ve built a really strong network with other providers across the country, but they really had to step up, especially in smaller states, to cope with the amount of abortion patients coming from Texas to have an abortion,” she added.
In addition to the service improvements funded by the influx of contributions, the expansion of the organization includes birth control including IUDs and implants, STD tests and treatment, breast and cervical cancer screenings, pregnancy tests and education about options, HPV vaccines, UTI Confirm treatment and at some sites sex hormone therapy. This initiative provides services to uninsured patients who meet income guidelines.
According to the organization, 64% of patients with planned parenthood were uninsured in 2020. Greater Texas Planned Parenthood had 93,602 patient visits in 2020.