Thousands Seek Abortion in Illinois as Southern States Ban the Procedure

Since the Supreme Court stripped constitutional protections for women to end pregnancies, 11 southern US states have mostly banned pregnancy terminations. As a result, hundreds of women each week travel to southern Illinois to secure an abortion.

The 1,800 mile stretch of southern states has left millions without access to legal abortions. According to local clinics and activists, this has led to a surge in demand for services across the Mississippi River from Missouri, where lawmakers have enacted some of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the country.

Many women who come from out of state face additional challenges such as finding transportation and accommodation while they wait for their appointments. Some also struggle with childcare responsibilities or taking time off work.

Despite these difficulties, many are determined to seek medical care that is no longer available in their home states. One clinic reported seeing patients from as far away as Alabama and Texas seeking abortions.

Providers say that they are doing everything possible to accommodate these patients including scheduling extra appointments on weekends and offering financial assistance when needed. However, with more than half of all US states restricting abortion access in some way since 2010 according to reproductive rights group Guttmacher Institute , it is clear that this issue will continue affecting millions across America if not addressed soon.