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'Legal limbo' | Influx of Arizona women traveling to San Diego Planned Parenthoods

Planned Parenthood said there’s been an 800% influx of patients coming in to San Diego from across the country, mostly from Arizona.

SAN DIEGO — "People are outraged by this!" said Brittany Fonteno, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona.

Arizona is in a legal limbo right now. Fonteno said since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade a little over two weeks ago, they still do not have legal clarity on abortion rights.

Legal waiting game

"It is a waiting game. We are in a legal limbo in Arizona. It's something you never want to be in. What your rights are; someone should never have to wonder, 'can I access healthcare?' A healthcare provider should never wonder that the oath they took can lead to criminalization," said Fonteno.

She said majority of abortion providers have paused services until state officials provide information on what is legal.

"The human need for abortion doesn’t go away just because it is criminalized. They will find a way to get the healthcare they need even if they have to flee their communities, even if that means fleeing hundreds or thousands of miles or taking it into their own hands," said Fonteno.

Patients fleeing Arizona for San Diego

In fact, many Arizona patients are fleeing to Planned Parenthoods in San Diego.

"It’s a terrible thing that we are putting barriers when people are most vulnerable and impact people with low incomes and people of color. Everyone’s grappling and it is causing a rippling effect across country," said Jodi Hicks, CEO and President of Planned Parenthoods affiliates of California. 

Hicks says there’s been an 800% influx of patients coming in to San Diego from across the country, mostly from Arizona.

"It was a gut punch to have any of this happen. It's hard when patients are scared and vulnerable," said Hicks.

Fonteno reminds women the Plan B pill and other birth control options are still legal in Arizona; adding there's been a drastic increase in birth control devices.

"We have seen an incredible surge of birth control, especially long acting reversible contraceptives like IUDs and implants," said Fonteno.

November election

In order to make a change, both Planned Parenthood CEO’s are urging everyone to vote in the November election.

"Elections matter; that is first and foremost," said Hicks.

“Harness this rage. We have an opportunity in November to flip the state legislature and recapture the govern ship," said Fonteno.

Due to the influx, Planned Parenthoods in San Diego are seeking volunteers and donations. Currently, at least 13 states have severe restrictions or complete bans on abortions. It's estimated this could go up to 26 states.

Fonteno plans to challenge this in court. 

WATCH RELATED: California doesn't track abortion data but expects an influx of out-of-state patients 


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