Abortion providers preparing for potential influx of out-of-state patients, state funding

In the Capital Region, abortion providers are preparing for an influx of patients from nearby states that could ban the procedure.

Tuesday, providers learned they could get a boost from the state. Gov. Hochul announced $35 million would be set aside to increase abortion access if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood provides abortions at their three clinics in the Capital Region.

The organization says like many other healthcare centers, they’re experiencing a provider shortage and will need to hire more workers to accommodate the thousands of patients expected to come to New York for the procedure.

The organization says it’s hard to predict how many more people they’ll be serving, but they’ve studied scenarios like the one in Oklahoma, a state which found itself overrun with patients in need of care after Texas put a near-ban on abortion.

They’re predicting a push of demand to come from the west, from Ohio, which could ban abortion.

Then patients in Western New York could look for appointments in Eastern New York, creating a domino effect.

"We were thinking a lot about Western New York, because Ohio is one of those states that may lose abortion access, but see now it’s like a domino effect, if those folks push through Western New York, then those Western New York folks, they’re going to have difficulty getting appointments and so that will just cascade down," said Katherine Bruno, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood Chief Experience Officer.

Right now, the organization is working on a plan to expand the number of appointments.

"Like everybody, the provider shortage is a huge issue, and we will need to increase not just providers but support staff for everybody, it’s a whole group effort when you need to get, add additional hours, dates, times for people to come in to access care," said Bruno.

New York’s GOP chair said Tuesday that the governor’s announcement of money to support providers is a sign that Democrats’ priorities are out of step with those of regular New Yorkers, and called it false hysteria since New York’s law will remain unchanged despite the Supreme Court’s decision.