We are so excited to have a brand new health center in Illinois offering abortion, birth control, and sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment. One of the reasons we chose the north Chicago suburbs (Skokie, IL) was so that the health center would be accessible to people living in Northern Illinois, and even surrounding states like Wisconsin, Indiana, and Iowa.
As part of our work, we want to make sure people in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Iowa understand their state’s abortion laws. All state information in this blog post comes from the amazing Guttmacher Institute. Thanks, Guttmacher!
Abortion Care Access in Wisconsin
As of May 2018, there are only three cities in the state of Wisconsin where abortion providers can be found: Madison, Milwaukee, and Sheboygan. This leaves 95% of counties in Wisconsin without an abortion provider; 67% of Wisconsites live in county with no abortion care providers.
If a Wisconsin resident can get to an abortion provider, it’s still not easy:
- State law requires them to receive state-directed, in-person counseling with information designed to discourage them from having an abortion.
- From that point, they have to wait 24 hours until the abortion can be performed.
- Then they must have an ultrasound, and the provider must show the ultrasound to the client before an abortion can be performed.
- This means a minimum of two trips to a medical office in Wisconsin for women seeking abortion services, often causing additional travel costs and unnecessary absences for work or other obligations.
- In addition, minors must receive the consent of a parent or guardian before having an abortion.
Abortion Care Access in Indiana
66% of Hoosiers live in counties without abortion care providers. In fact, the only two providers are both in Indianapolis. And Indiana has even more restrictions on abortion care:
- State law requires people seeking an abortion to receive state-directed, in-person counseling with information designed to discourage them from having an abortion.
- From that point, they have to wait 18 hours until the abortion can be performed.
- This means a minimum of two trips to a medical office in Indiana for people seeking abortion services, often causing additional travel costs and unnecessary absences for work or other obligations.
- Then they must have an ultrasound, and the provider must offer to show the ultrasound to the client before an abortion can be performed.
- Minors must get a parent’s consent before receiving an abortion.
- Under state policy, private insurance policies, health care exchanges, and insurance for public employees cannot cover the cost of abortions except in cases of “life endangerment, rape or incest, or when the woman’s health is severely compromised” (unless people have purchased an optional rider)
Abortion Care Access in Iowa
As of 2014, 89% of Iowa counties don’t have health centers which provide abortions, and 42% of Iowans don’t live in counties with an abortion provider.
- Minors must notify at least one parent if they wish to have an abortion.
- Public funding for an abortion is only available in the incidence of incest, rape, or in the case of a mother’s life being threatened.
It may soon get worse for Iowans seeking an abortion: this spring, Iowa passed a law that would restrict people from having an abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. This can occur as early as the sixth week of a pregnancy, a time before many women even realize they are pregnant. The bill is currently on hold while it’s being challenged in court, but if it’s passed, it will become one of the most restrictive abortion bans.
Can Wisconsin, Indiana, and Iowa residents seek abortion care in Illinois?
Yes! The good news is that Illinois does not have all these restrictions. In fact, as of this year, abortion care is covered by medicaid in Illinois! (Illinois does still have one major restriction: minors seeking abortion care must notify a parent. If you need information on this, give us a call at 1-855-SAY-CARA or chat with us here on our website – we can help!)
If you are seeking abortion care from one of these states, here are a few good things to know:
- Most carafem appointments last less that one hour, and there is no mandatory waiting period in Illinois. You may be able to travel and receive care in less time here than surrounding states, even with the added travel time.
- We are north of Chicago, in the suburb of Skokie, and our facility has ample free parking in our private lot. You do not have to drive into the city of Chicago to find us!
- Our office is small, and we only schedule one person at a time. So your visit may feel more private and you won’t have a lot of wait time to be seen.
If you or someone you know needs compassionate, convenient abortion care, schedule online or call us at 1-855-SAY-CARA to make an appointment!