OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma City abortion clinic is overwhelmed by a flood of patients from Texas. It’s the ripple effect of Texas’ controversial abortion law, Senate Bill 8. The new law bans abortions around six weeks after conception, which is often before a woman knows she is pregnant.
The Trust Women clinic in OKC is used to only having five to 10 Texan patients per clinic day.
“Since SB 8 went into effect on Sept. 1, that volume has gone up three or four times,” said Communication Director Zack Gingrich-Gaylord. “I was in Oklahoma City on Monday. We have 50 patients on the schedule and 33 of those were from Texas.”
He said some patients are coming from places as far south as Galveston or Corpus Christi, Texas.
With their clinic now seeing an average of 50 patients on clinic days, as opposed to the 20 to 30 before SB 8, anyone seeking an abortion with them should know they won’t get an appointment for at least three or four weeks.
Gingrich-Gaylord is even recommending those seeking abortions go to their Trust Women branch in Wichita, Kan.
“For those people who are able to travel another two hours, or for Oklahoma people who are able to travel up to Wichita, we’re recommending that they do that if they can,” he said.
Context is key according to Gingrich-Gaylord, who explained that more than 1,000 abortions were done in Texas a week before the new law and that it changes matters immensely.
“It’s not good,” he said. “These are patients who would otherwise be going to seek care in their own communities. The surrounding states are not that big and they don’t have that many clinics. So, it’s creating a significant strain on the neighboring states to Texas.”
Oklahoma has its own new abortion laws set to take effect on Nov. 1, including house bill 2441, which prohibits abortion if a fetal heartbeat can be detected.