Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri announced plans to deploy mobile abortion clinics to the Illinois border in response to neighboring states banning or restricting the practice, a strategy that takes “abortion on demand” to a dangerous new level.

The Planned Parenthood affiliate revealed its intention to establish a mobile abortion clinic in an October press release and have it be operational by the end of 2022. According to the press release, the mobile clinic will start out by dispensing abortion pills up to 11 weeks gestation with plans to commit surgical abortions as well. 

The RV is 37 feet long and holds two exam rooms, a lab, and a waiting room. Planned Parenthood will operate the mobile clinic in Illinois and travel near where the state borders Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee. All three states sought to ban or nearly ban abortion following the overturn of Roe v. Wade this June, whereas Illinois has expanded the practice. 

Yamelsie Rodriguez, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, complained about increased wait times in an October interview with The Associated Press at her abortion facility along the Missouri-Illinois border. The facility reportedly saw a 30% increase in women coming for abortions, with the number of women from outside Missouri and Illinois increasing by more than 340%. 

To Dr. Colleen McNicholas, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis office, the mobile abortion clinic is “a way to reduce travel times and distances in order to meet patients at the Illinois border.” 

What’s interesting, however, is that Rodriguez and McNicholas declined to discuss the safety and security measures for the mobile abortion clinic with AP. 

Reprotection would like to see Planned Parenthood answer questions about what these mobile clinics will do if a woman experiences complications after an abortion, but the RV has already traveled to another location by the time she realizes something is wrong. Also, will the clinic screen women for ectopic pregnancies or other pregnancy complications before administering the abortion pill?

A 2009 study found that chemical abortions have four times the complication rate of surgical abortions. Another study conducted in 2015 found that the complication rate was 5.2% for women who took the abortion pill compared to 1.3% for women who had a first-trimester surgical abortion.

This means not only is Planned Parenthood conducting a type of abortion that is more dangerous to women than a surgical abortion, they are disregarding state laws intended to protect life in the womb. Planned Parenthood has devised a strategy that enables it to enter a community, commit abortions, and drive away, leaving women alone to deal with any complications that could arise. 

Reprotection will not allow Planned Parenthood’s dehumanization of women and the children whose lives they’re taking to remain unchecked. Women experiencing a challenging pregnancy deserve support, and we’re working to ensure the abortion industry cannot continue skirting the law to take advantage of vulnerable people.