SAN MATEO (KPIX 5) – As the Department of Justice enters a legal battle against the State of Texas over its new abortion law, some California clinics said they are seeing a rise in patients coming here from Texas for procedures.
"Since the events in Texas, we're already scheduling appointments for folks coming over from Texas," said Jodi Hicks, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood California. "There are already people who woke up this week and found out they are past six weeks pregnant and need to find services, and they're having to travel here to California to get those."
Hicks told KPIX 5 one of Planned Parenthood's clinics scheduled four appointments this week for women who plan to travel to California from Texas.
"For the affiliate that is doing this - it is. I think it's out of the norm to happen in one week, and it's definitely a reaction to what has happened in Texas," she said. "One person coming from out of state is too many."
The Texas law bans abortions once a heartbeat can be detected, which is usually around six weeks after conception, and sometimes before women know they're pregnant. It also allows private citizens to sue people who help patients get abortions.
"I've heard anecdotally, stories, these are young people - some of them have never been out of the state of Texas. They have never traveled out of state. And so now, they're navigating a healthcare system that's also difficult to do, and doing that out of state," Hicks said.
Planned Parenthood California sees thousands of out-of-state patients a year for a variety of services, according to Hicks. However, she expects that number to rise with this new law in play.
"We know that over the last year, we actually saw 7,000 patients coming from out of state for all different reasons and all different services," she said. "Right now, we're in preparation mode of what we all need to prepare for this coming year."
Meantime, the co-founder of San Francisco-based tech company Bospar announced they will pay for Texas-based employees to relocate if they're interested in doing so, in response to the new law.
"I really felt for the women in our company - as well as the men - who want to make sure they can live without someone just spying on them constantly and surveilling them to see, are they getting an abortion? I want to make sure that doesn't happen," said co-founder Curtis Sparrer. "We're going to offer this now for Texas and their heartbeat bill, but if another state does this, we're going to pick up the cost for any other state that does this."
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