Oklahoma Women's Health Clinics See Massive Spike In Cases Since Texas Abortion Bill Passed

Tuesday, December 21st 2021, 5:34 pm


More than 100 days after Texas passed SB: 8, appointments at Oklahoma abortion clinics are full of women from the Lone Star State.  

Restrictive abortion laws in Texas that went into effect in September mean right now, women are crossing the border to Oklahoma for abortion services. 

Clinics here said it's difficult to keep up with the high numbers. 

Before SB: 8, clinics like Trust Women saw fewer than ten Texas patients in its Oklahoma and Kansas clinics.  Now they see more than 100 women from the Lone Star state a month. 

"Texas didn't eliminate abortions. They just outsourced them," said Trust Women's Communications Director, Zack Gingrich-Gaylord. 

Gingrich-Gaylord said Trust Women has seen a steady increase in patients who have to cross state lines to get the procedure since SB: 8 went into effect. That was on September 1st. 

"We've seen an increase from around five or eight in August to pretty steadily around 130 a month."   

That's out of around 200 total appointments. 

"So that's a 300% increase in just Texas patients at our Oklahoma clinic," said Gingrich-Gaylord. He added, "we have more than doubled our appointments at our Oklahoma City clinic." 

In 2020, prior to SB: 8, more than 55,000 Texas women terminated a pregnancy. 

"That's around 1,100 people a week that are no longer able to get that care in their state. We're seeing maybe tops 150 of those people a month so that's less than 10% a week," explained Gingrich-Gaylord. 

Trust Women must schedule the medical procedure weeks in advance. Six more doctors have been added to the rotation. The clinic has hired additional clinic staff and the clinic has increased the number of days they treat patients from two to four per week. Even with the extra staff, Gingrich-Gaylord said they still have a tough time keeping up with the demand. 

"In Wichita what we're seeing now is we're seeing an increase in Texas patients as well; but also, in patients from Oklahoma who are being displaced by people from Texas who are filling up a lot of the appointments." He continued, "we've had people come from Corpus Christi, Houston. That's about as far away as you can get from one of our clinics." 

To arrange that travel takes time. 

"We have seen an overall increase in the gestational age of the people who are coming to visit us and it's directly due to these restrictions," said Gingrich-Gaylord.  "Whereas before they may have had a clinic in their own neighborhood now that clinic is 600 miles away. That means 10 hours of driving one way," he added.   

Oklahoma has three abortion laws on a temporary injunction right now. They were supposed to go into effect on November 1st.