Abortion providers struggle against overwhelming odds everyday. Not the least of which among them is pressure from the state by way of laws that are designed to put us out of business.
Some of you will recall the amazing Mother Jones article from last year, featuring Northland Family Planning Founder Renee Chelian, which discusses the specific threats that state legislatures put on abortion clinics, and the laws that have passed which have forced many clinics to close. The article focuses on the distance women in Texas must go for an abortion following the passage of HB2.
We’d like to share some data with you about the patients we see at Northland Family Planning everyday, and how far they have had to travel to receive abortion care. The following data is from our 2015 patient caseload, and will be quite eye opening to many of you.
All three of our clinics are located in the Metro Detroit area. In 2015, 17.9% of the patients at our Westland location came from out of state. These patients came from Indiana, Texas, Kentucky, California, and Canada. In state, the furthest patient traveled 330 miles from the Upper Peninsula to Westland.
Our Southfield office saw patients from Florida and Canada. Multiple patients traveled from Iron Mountain, Michigan—a distance of 480 miles in state, one way! 5.6% of patients were from out of state.
The Sterling Heights office boosts 2.65% of out-of-state patients. They have the highest out-of-country as well, with 7 patients from Canada. The furthest in-state drive was from St. Joseph, Michigan—over 200 miles away.
In total, over 9% of the patients Northland saw in 2015 were from out-of-state.
We point this out in order to underscore the importance of voting. Not only in national elections, but in all state and local elections as well. Every vote cast influences the balance of power, and how a governing body will choose to legislate and regulate abortion clinics. The right to an abortion is a myth as long as access does not exist. Patients in state should not have to drive almost 1,000 miles in total to access safe abortion care.
And more than that—Trump stated in last night’s debate that he will appoint justices to overturn Roe V. Wade. Your vote could not be more important.
Vote Pro-Choice this November.
If you are interested in working at Northland Family Planning, or want to make an appointment, contact us here.