Donations since SB 8 help Planned Parenthood boost Texas services, travel funds for abortions


Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas announced Friday that thanks to increased donations as a “direct response” to the state’s new abortion law the organization will be expanding their services especially for long term birth control like IUDs and providing funds for patients to travel out of state to recieve abortions.

Elizabeth Cardwell, lead clinician for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas said that since Senate Bill 8 was enacted they have received a higher volume of calls asking for long term birth control options. The new law bans abortions after approximately 6 weeks of gestation.

“A much greater need for really reliable birth control, especially an uptick in the request for long acting reversible contraception. Like implants or intrauterine devices or IUDs, we’re seeing that that again, Senate Bill 8 because there’s such a tiny window for patients to access safe and legal abortion inside the state of Texas,” she said.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas is expanding access to healthcare appointments for uninsured patients at 24 of their health centers in Austin, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Fort Worth, Lubbock, Paris, Plano, Tyler, Waco and surrounding communities. This expansion of services is in part because of donors, Cardwell said.

“With the generous donors that we’ve had, we’ve been able to expand. So all their services are covered so that’s, that’s really been key because our donors have realized how desperate patients are to seek affordable care,” she said.

Cardwell says the increase in donations is a public response to SB 8.

“It definitely is a direct response to Senate Bill 8. So while Senate Bill 8 is onerous, and it’s really is detrimental especially to you know, those that have the least amount of access to health care and that might be needing access to safe and legal abortion, their window of time to access that and their ability to access is so limited, that donors have really stepped up,” she said.

The new initiative provides resources for those seeking abortion in Texas under SB 8, specifically, Planned Parenthood will offer financial assistance to reduce cost of abortions, support for travel expenses such as gas cards, flights, lodging and other travel expenses. The organization will also be handing out take home kits that contain emergency contraception, early detection pregnancy testing, and condoms.

“We have travel assistance funds that will help cover everything that they really would need so we can give guest cards for gas that they’re going to be driving. We can give them bus tickets or plane tickets. We can give them money for lodging and you know, for meals. And again, just to give them also the support of helping to reach out to centers,” Cardwell said.

“We’ve built a really strong network with other providers around the country, but they’ve really had to step up especially smaller states, trying to handle the volume of abortion patients that are traveling from Texas to have an abortion,” she added.

Beyond the service improvements funded by the influx of contributions, the organization expansion includes birth control including IUDS and implants, STD testing and treatment, breast and cervical cancer screenings, pregnancy testing and options education, HPV vaccines, UTI treatment, and in some locations gender affirming hormone therapy. This initiative provides services for uninsured patients who meet income guidelines.

According to the organization, in 2020, 64% of patients of Planned Parenthood were uninsured. Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas had 93,602 patient visits in 2020.



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