More and more states are enacting laws regarding abortion as the possible fall of Roe v. Wade draws closer. While in pro-life leaning states like Oklahoma and Texas, abortion is heavily restricted, other states — like New York, California, and Illinois — have made themselves into havens for abortion. And that’s where the abortion travel agents come in.
Abortion businesses have been turning their staffers into abortion travel agents, who work to get women from pro-life states into abortion-friendly ones so they can undergo abortions. Angela Huntington, an abortion patient navigator for Planned Parenthood in Overland Park, Kansas, is one example. Live Action News first reported on Planned Parenthood’s abortion patient navigator position in 2020, and learned that it is this person’s job to ensure a woman gets to her abortion appointment no matter what. Two years later, this includes things like arranging airfare and a hotel. Huntington spoke to the Kansas City Star about her experiences getting women from places like Oklahoma to Kansas, and the lengths to which Planned Parenthood will go to arrange travel.
One woman Huntington worked with was facing a 10-hour round-trip drive. So Huntington arranged for a private plane to fly the woman to and from the Planned Parenthood facility, at no cost to the woman. “I feel like a travel agent,” Huntington said. “You’re working on Greyhound buses and hotels, and you’re calling the patient navigator in whatever state you’re referring them to, to make sure that they can help cover the cost of the procedure.”
Organizations like Elevated Access have sprouted up to ensure women can get abortions out of state. Huntington said they use volunteer pilots, who “have their own planes (and) will actually fly to a little regional airport in the middle of nowhere, pick up a patient and take them to their appointment.”
“The client drove 10 minutes from their house to the airport, flew for an hour and a half to their appointment, and then flew an hour and a half back home,” the Elevated Access executive director said, whose name remains undisclosed. “It would probably have been a two-day trip if they had to drive it.”
Huntington is part of Planned Parenthood’s patient navigator program, which the Kansas City Star says has assisted 1,200 women in three months get abortions, helping with the costs of both abortion travel and the abortion itself. “If they qualify for everything, great — we’re able to adjust the cost of that appointment down to whatever they can pay,” Huntington explained. “Then if they need (a) hotel, if they need a flight, if they need gas cards, from there, we screen them to find out what their needs are. We will be able to connect patients to wherever they need to get care.”
What Huntington does not point out is that when an abortion-vulnerable woman comes to someone like Huntington, desperate and scared, no one — not Huntington or anyone else at Planned Parenthood — is offering this level of effort to help her keep her baby. Planned Parenthood provides next to no prenatal care, for example, and it is unlikely its employees would refer women to an organization that will — because that would direct money away from Planned Parenthood.
Women deserve to have their concerns addressed — the ones that make them feel abortion is their only option. And it is pro-life organizations that are meeting these needs. The abortion industry commits abortions, and then sends women back into the exact same situations they were in before.
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