A large-scale Planned Parenthood is opening in Illinois as neighboring Missouri readies an abortion ban.
Planned Parenthood’s newest 18,000-square-foot clinic was built in secret to avoid protesters and other delays. It is expected to open its doors in October 2019. The facility is approximately 15 miles from Missouri’s only Planned Parenthood in St. Louis
“It literally feels like we’re living in two different countries,” Hope Clinic Executive Director Dr. Erin King stated. “If you live in Illinois, you have a lower—and you become pregnant—you have a lower rate of dying from that pregnancy just because you live in Illinois versus if you become pregnant as a person in Missouri.”
People seeking an abortion in Missouri currently must wait 72 hours to receive the procedure, which creates financial and logistical challenges for patients outside of St. Louis. Doctors are also required to perform a pelvic exam and/or an ultrasound, and counsel patients with state-issued material designed to dissuade people from getting an abortion. But the clinic that King runs just a few miles away doesn’t have those regulations.
In May 2019, Missouri introduced HB 126, a bill that would ban abortion after eight weeks. In August, a federal judge temporarily blocked the ban from going into effect.