“SUPREME IMPACT” SERIES- NY PLANNED PARENTHOOD BRACES FOR SURGE IN OUT-OF-STATE ABORTION PATIENTS

Tonight, we continue our Supreme Impact series, where we examine the recent Supreme Court rulings and their impact on the Tri-State region.  It’s been just over a month since the court struck down Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to abortion, and New York providers are continuing to brace for a possible surge in patients from out of state.  As those in need of the procedure start arriving from states where access is being restricted, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York is responding by increasing abortion appointment availability by 20 percent at its network of health centers. Joining us to discuss the impact of the court’s decision on local clinics, where out-of-state patients are coming from, how they’re getting here and whether New Yorkers will now have trouble accessing abortion services, is Dr. Gillian Dean, chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood of Greater New York.

Aired on August 4, 2022

TRANSCRIPT

> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

IN THE MONTHS SINCE THE SUPREME COURT'S MONUMENTAL DECISION STRIKING DOWN THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO AN ABORTION, NEW YORK PROVIDERS HAVE BEEN BRACING FOR A POSSIBLE SURGE OF PATIENTS FROM OUT OF STATE.

AS THOSE IN NEED OF AN ABORTION START ARRIVING, PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF GREATER NEW YORK IS RESPONDING BY INCREASING APPOINTMENT AVAILABILITY BY AS MUCH AS 20% AT ITS NETWORK OF HEALTH CENTERS.

AND FOR A CLOSER LOOK AT THE IMPACT OF THE COURT'S DECISIONS ON LOCAL CLINICS, WHERE OUT OF STATE PATIENTS MIGHT BE ARRIVING, AND WHETHER NEW YORKERS COULD HAVE TROUBLE ACCESSING THOSE SERVICES, WE'D LIKE TO WELCOME DR. JILLIAN DEAN, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER AT PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF GREATER NEW YORK.

DR. DEAN, WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME ON.

DR. DEAN IS JOINING US AS PART OF OUR SERIES ON THE RULINGS AND THEIR IMPACT ON THE TRISTATE.

I WANT TO START WITH JUST THE DAY-TO-DAY WORKINGS AT PLANNED PARENTHOOD, AND WHAT IT MEANS TO INCREASE APPOINTMENT AVAILABILITY BY 20%.

I FIRST OF ALL WANT TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT THIS SUPREME COURT DECISION, THIS DISGRACEFUL, WRONGFUL DECISION, HAS PROVOKED A HEALTH-CARE CRISIS, AND IN ONLY FOUR SHORT WEEKS.

SO OUR DAY-TO-DAY WORKINGS LOOK DIFFERENT THAN THEY DID PREVIOUSLY.

THIS ISN'T THEORETICAL.

WE ARE SEEING PATIENTS EVERY DAY IN OUR HEALTH CENTERS WHO ARE COMING TO US FROM OUT OF STATE.

THEY ARE COMING FROM GEORGIA, FLORIDA, TEXAS, ARIZONA, OHIO, OKLAHOMA, TO JUST NAME A HANDFUL OF THE MANY, MANY STATES WHERE WE HAVE SEEN PATIENTS.

AND I WILL TELL YOU THAT PEOPLE ARE TRAUMATIZED.

THEY ARE TRAUMATIZED NOT ONLY BY THE HURDLES THAT THEY HAVE TO OVERCOME TO GET TO OUR HEALTH CENTERS, INCLUDING RAISING THE MONEY FOR TRAVEL, LODGING, ARRANGING CHILD CARE, TIME OFF FROM WORK OR SCHOOL.

THEY ARE TRAUMATIZED BY THE FEAR THAT SOMEONE IN THEIR HOME COMMUNITIES COULD FIND OUT THAT THEY HAD HAD AN ABORTION AND THAT THEY OR SOMEONE THEY LOVE COULD BE AT RISK OF CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

I WANT TO BE CLEAR -- ABORTION IS HEALTH CARE.

IT IS IN FACT ESSENTIAL HEALTH CARE.

AND IT IS -- I CANNOT DOWNPLAY THE STRESS THAT WE ARE SEEING IN PATIENTS.

THE TEARS, THE SELEVATED BLOOD PRESSURES.

THE FOLKS COMING INTO THE HEALTH-CARE CENTERS ARE THE LUCKY ONCE.

OTHERS ARE NOT ABLE TO MAKE THE JOURNEY TO AN ABORTION ACCESS STATE.

THAT'S INTERESTING THAT YOU MENTION AS A -- I GUESS A SIDE EFFECT OF THE STRESS OF THE WHOLE SITUATION IS THE ELEVATED BLOOD PRESSURES.

ARE YOU ALSO FINDING THAT PEOPLE, BECAUSE OF THE NECESSITY TO TRAVEL, MIGHT BE WAITING LATER INTO A PREGNANCY TO RECEIVE HEALTH CARE THAN THEY MIGHT HAVE IF THEY WERE ABLE TO ACCESS IN THEIR OWN COMMUNITIES?

ABSOLUTELY.

WE ARE PREPARED FOR THIS TO HAPPEN.

AND WE ARE SEEN IT HAPPEN ALREADY.

SOME OF THOSE FOLKS HAVEN'T MADE IT TO US YET BECAUSE THE SUPREME COURT DECISION, AS I SAID, WAS ONLY A MONTH AGO, AND THESE PEOPLE ARE WORKING ON THE FUNDS AND WAITING TO COME TO PLACES LIKE NEW YORK CITY.

RIGHT AFTER OKLAHOMA PASSED ITS TOTAL ABORTION BAN, STYLED AFTER THE ONE IN TEXAS, AND THIS WAS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT'S HORRIFIC DECISION A MONTH AGO.

WE HAD A PATIENT WHOSE HOME STATE WAS OKLAHOMA.

SHE WAS A STUDENT IN ANOTHER STATE WITH VERY, VERY POOR ABORTION ACCESS, SO SHE WAS ARRANGING TO GO BACK TO OKLAHOMA AS SOON AS SHE FOUND OUT SHE WAS PREGNANT, AND BOOM, THE BAN HAPPENED AND WAS UNABLE TO GET AN APPOINTMENT.

THIS STUDENT, LIKE MANY STUDENTS, WAS ON A BUDGET, AND IT TOOK HER THREE MONTHS TO RAISE THE MONEY TO MAKE IT UP TO NEW YORK.

SO SHE STARTED HER JOURNEY AT TEN WEEKS OF PREGNANCY.

SHE ARRIVED IN NEW YORK STATE AT 22 WEEKS.

AND SO THAT'S WHY I'M SAYING THAT WE DON'T EVEN KNOW THE FULL IMPACT ON HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE BEING PUSHED LATER.

WHEN PEOPLE ARE PUSHED LATER IN ABORTION, THE PROCEDURE IS -- IT TAKES LONGER, IT DOES CARRY MORE RISK, AND IT IS MORE COSTLY.

THIS PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL WHO CAME TO US AFTER NOT BEING ABLE TO OBTAIN AN ABORTION IN HER HOME STATE, TO ON SBTAIN HEALTH CARE IN HER STATE WAS FORTUNATE BECAUSE WE WERE ABLE TO PROVIDE HER WITH A SAFE LEGAL PROCEDURE IN NEW YORK, AND I WANT TO REMIND VIEWERS THAT ABORTION REMAINS LEGAL AND PROTECT IN THE NEW YORK STATE, SO SHE WAS ONE OF THE ONES TO MAKE IT UP AND SHE WAS TEARFUL AND SO GRATEFUL.

I ALSO DO WANT TO -- WITH PEOPLE WHO MIGHT BE FINDING THEMSELVES HAVING TO WAIT LONGER INTO A PREGNANCY TO RECEIVE CARE, THE DIFFERENCES, AGAIN, IN LAWS BETWEEN STATES.

THERE ARE SOME STATES WHERE ABORTION IS LEGAL THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE PREGNANCY AND OTHER STATES, LIKE IN NEW YORK, WHERE IT'S UP TO THE POINT OF LIABILITY.

IS THAT SOMETHING THAT PLANNED PARENTHOOD IS HAVING TO FACTOR?

THAT IF SOMEONE -- IS IT POSSIBLE, PERHAPS, TO FIND YOURSELF HAVING WAITED TOO LONG?

THAT IS ALWAYS THE CASE.

THERE ARE -- IN STATES THAT HAVE MAINTAINED ABORTION ACCESS, THERE ARE DIFFERENT GESTATIONAL LIMITS UP TO WHICH ABORTION CAN BE PROVIDED.

IN NEW YORK WE ARE FORTUNATE TO PROVIDE ABORTION UP TO LIABILITY.

WE HOPE PATIENTS ARE ABLE TO COME TO US ALONE BEFORE THEN, BECAUSE IT'S CRITICAL TO GET THE CARE EARLY IN PREGNANCY, IF POSSIBLE, WHEN THE PROCEDURE IS MUCH MORE SIMPLE, MUCH MORE STRAIGHT FORWARD, WHERE THERE'S THE OPTION OF MEDICATION ABORTION OR PROCEDURAL ABORTION, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS SURGICAL ABORTION, WHERE THE RISKS AND COSTS ARE LOWER.

BUT THERE WILL ALWAYS BE PATIENTS WHO NEED TO OBTAIN THIS CARE LATER IN PREGNANCY.

EITHER BECAUSE, LIKE THE ONE I DESCRIBED TO YOU, IT HAS TAKEN MONTHS TO ANYONE TO RAISE THE FUNDS AND THEN THERE ARE ALSO PATIENTS WHO DON'T IDENTIFY THAT THEIR PREGNANT UNTIL LATER IN PREGNANCY.

WE JUST HAD A PATIENT WHO, A NEW YORKER, PLANNING A MOVE TO A NO-ACCESS STATE WHO HAS IRREGULAR PERIODS BECAUSE OF A MEDICAL CONDITION AND SOMETIMES GOES FOR MONTHS WITHOUT HAVING A PERIOD.

SO JUST IDENTIFIED THAT SHE WAS 17 WEEKS PREGNANT AND HAD BEEN PLANNING A MOVE TO A STATE WHERE SHE WAS GOING TO BE STARTING A NEW JOB.

SHE'S A SINGLE MOM OF A SCHOOL-AGE KID.

SOLE PROVIDER FOR HERSELF AND HER CHILD, FOR HER FAMILY.

AND THIS MOVE WAS CRITICAL IN TERM OF EMPLOYMENT.

SHE HAD TO PUT OFF HER MOVE TO THE NO ACCESS STATE, PUT OFF THE START OF HER NEW JOB BECAUSE SHE WAS UNL ABLE TO OBTAIN THE HEALTH CARE SHE WOULD NEED IN THAT STATE AND FORTUNATELY WE WERE TABLE HELP HER IN NEW YORK.

SO WE SEE FOLKS WHO DO NOT PRESENT UNTIL LATER IN PREGNANCY BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO IDENTIFY THEY WERE PREGNANT UNTIL LATER ON, AND THEN OF COURSE THERE ARE ALWAYS FOLKS WHO LEARN LATER IN THE PREGNANCY THERE IS A SERIOUS MEDICAL CONDITION, SOMETIMES NOT COMPATIBLE WITH LIFE OUTSIDE THE WOMB FOR THE FETUS, AND THAT OFTEN -- THAT DIAGNOSE, THAT INFORMATION OFTEN IS NOT OB OBTAINED UNTIL LATER IN PREGNANCY.

OF COURSE.

I ALSO WANT TO TOUCH ON, AS YOU WERE MENTIONING, EVEN FOR SOME NEW YORKERS WHO ARE FINDING TH THEMSELVES IN NEED OF ABORTION SERVICES, IS IT FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE?

HOW IS PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF GREATER NEW YORK HANDLING NATIVE NEW YORKERS?

I HATE TO USE THE WORD NATIVE, INSTATE.

IS THERE ANY DIFFERENCE?

YOU MENTIONED AT THE TOP OF THE SHOW WE ARE INCREASING OUR ABORTION ACCESS 20% ACROSS OUR SERVICES, BUT IT MEDICATION THROUGH MEDICATIONS OR PROCEDURAL.

WE ARE GOING TO NOT ONLY TO SERVE THOSE OUT OF STATE BUT TO SERVE NEW YORKERS BETTER.

BECAUSE WE NEED TO PROVIDE ABORTION CARE TO THE FOLKS WHO NEED US.

WE ARE HERE FIRST AND FOREMOST TO SERVE THE PEOPLE OF NEW YORK STATE, BUT WE ARE ALSO UNDERSTANDING THIS IS THE TIME TO STEP UP AND SERVE THE PEOPLE OF THE NATION.

I RECENTLY HAD A PATIENT WHO CAME TO ME, LIVES FROM NEW JERSEY, WORKS IN CONNECTICUT AND CAME TO ME FOR AN ABORTION IN NEW YORK.

THERE'S THREE ABORTION ACCESS STATES I SAID, HOW IS IT THAT YOU CAME TO US?

SHE SAID, YOU HAD THE SOONEST APPOINTMENT.

THAT REALLY FELT GOOD FOR ME TO BE ABLE TO STEP IN AND PROVIDE THAT CARE.

BECAUSE ABORTION IS A TIME SENSITIVE MEDICAL PROCEDURE AS I TALKED ABOUT THERE.

IN ADDITION TO ABORTION ACCESS, THERE ARE ALSO QUITE A FEW PREGNANCY CRISIS CENTERS IN ALL THREE ABORTION ACCESS STATES THAT YOU JUST MENTIONED.

AND AT LEAST IN NEW YORK STATE, WE KNOW THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE IS SAYING THAT QUITE OFTEN THESE PLACES WILL MISREPRESENT REPRODUCTIVE SERVICES THEY CAN PROVIDE.

AND VARIOUS OTHER MISLEADING TA TACTICS.

WHAT IS YOUR CONCERN ABOUT PREGNANCY CRISIS CENTERS POPPING UP AND PERHAPS CONFUSING PEOPLE AT A POINT OF CRISIS IN THEIR LIFE?

WELL, I -- WE REFER TO THESE AS FAKE HEALTH CLINICS, BECAUSE IN FACT THESE ARE NOT HEALTH-CARE PROVIDERS.

THESE ARE BUSINESSES THAT THESE HARMFUL TACTICS TO LURE PEOPLE IN UNDER THE GUISE OF PROVIDING THEM HEALTH CARE.

THEY PROVIDE MISINFORMATION MISINFORMATION NOT ONLY ABOUT ABORTION AND SEXUAL REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE IN GENERAL, BECAUSE MISINFORMATION DIRECTLY RELEVANT TO THE PERSON PRESENTING TO THEM, INCLUDING HOW FAR ALONG THEY ARE IN PREGNANCY AND SOMETIMES WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE PREGNANT.

THEY DO THIS TO TRY TO TRICK PEOPLE SO THAT THEY EITHER BECOME TOO LATE IN PREGNANCY OR DO NOT KNOW THAT THEY ARE PREGNANT AND THEREFORE CAN'T ACCESS TRUE HEALTH CARE FROM A TRUE HEALTH-CARE PROVIDER.

THEY'RE BASICALLY CAUSING THEM TO MISS A WINDOW FOR WHEN ABORTION WOULD BE AN OPTION FOR THEM.

WHAT WE NEED ARE PUBLIC CAMPAIGNS TO TELL PEOPLE WHAT TRUE COMPREHENSIVE SEXUAL REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE WOULD LOOK LIKE TO PREVENT THEM FROM FALLING VICTIM TO THE FAKE CLINICS SO THEY CAN IDENTIFY WHAT SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE LOOK LIKE AND HAVE ALL OF THEIR OPTIONS OPEN TO THEM, INCLUDING THE OPTION FOR ABORTION.

ONE FINAL QUESTION, AND THAT IS A HEADLINE THAT'S MADE NATIONAL NEWS, AN ABORTION ON A 10-YEAR-OLD RAPE VICTIM.

-- COULD FACE CHARGES FROM OUT OF STATE ATTORNIES GENERAL?

THAT -- THAT WHOLE -- THAT WHOLE SITUATION WAS SHOCKING TO ME.

AND I WANT TO MAKE IT CLEAR.

I WAS NOT SHOCKED THAT MY COLLEAGUE PROVIDED CARE TO A 10-YEAR-OLD RAPE VICTIM.

BECAUSE UNFORTUNATELY, THAT IS SOMETHING THAT THOSE OF US WHO ARE IN THE FIELD HAVE SEEN.

I MYSELF HAVE PROVIDED CARE TO 10-YEAR-OLDS, A 9-YEAR-OLD, IN FACT, 11-YEAR-OLDS, TO VERY, VERY YOUNG CHILDREN IN THAT AGE RANGE WHO HAVE FALLEN -- WHO HAVE BECOME PREGNANT AND USUALLY IT'S THE RESULT OF AN ASSAULT.

SO WHAT WAS SHOCKING WAS NOT THAT THIS PATIENT NEEDED THE CARE.

WHAT WAS SHOCKING WAS THE ATTACK MADE ON THIS HIGHLY REPUTABLE DOCTOR, ON HER INTEGRITY, ON THE TRUTHFULNESS OF THIS WHOLE SITUATION.

THAT WAS COMPLETELY APPALLING AND COMPLETELY SHOCKING.

I'M SO GLAD THAT I -- I'M FORTUNATE TO PROVIDE CARE IN NEW YORK STATE WHERE I DO NOT ANTICIPATE ANY ATTACK LIKE THAT.

IN FACT, WE HAVE HAD SO MUCH SUPPORT AS ABORTION PROVIDEDRS FROM OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS.

THERE HAVE BEEN LAWS PASSED TO PROTECT ABORTION PROVIDERS IN NEW YORK STATE FROM LAWSUITS FROM OTHER STATES WHERE, WHEN WE PROVIDE CARE TO PATIENTS TRAVELING FROM THOSE STATES, THERE HAVE BEEN THERE HAVE BEEN LAWS PASSED TO SECURE ACCESS TO ABORTION FOR NEW YORKERS AND THOSE TRAVELING FROM OUT OF STATE.

WE'RE FORTUNATE TO HAVE THE SUPPORT OF OUR GOVERNMENT AND GOVERNOR AND ELECTED OFFICIALS.

UNFORTUNATELY, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE, BUT DR. JILLIAN DEAN, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER AT PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF GREATER NEW YORK.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

ABSOLUTELY.

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