GRANITE CITY, Ill. — Women rushed into Hope Clinic in Granite City as soon as their doors opened on Thursday morning.
The Supreme Court’s ruling to reverse Roe V. Wade nearly a month ago has significantly altered abortion services in Illinois, one of the 20 states where the operations are still protected.
Julie Burkhart, the clinic’s owner, told 5 On Your Side they had seen a drastically increased call volume along with patients traveling from within the state and surrounding states.
"It has been approximately fourfold in calls," Burkhart said.
The owner, who acquired the facility in May, added they had brought on two new doctors and additional nurses since the High Court’s decision.
"People need abortion care and people will do what they need to do and take the steps that they need to take if they have the resources available in order to access abortion care," Burkhart said.
They collaborated with Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region in late 2021 to open the Regional Logistics Center, which connects patients with existing abortion funds and other support organizations and works to provide assistance with travel and funding coordination.
Just steps away from a Planned Parenthood in Fairview Heights, a group from a building right next door held up "right-to-life" themed signs.
"It's really important to understand that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to help so many additional women,” said Brian Westbrook, executive director of Coalition Life.
The organization works to preserve life in Missouri and Illinois and provides services including pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and housing.
Westbrook said if anything, those traveling in to seek abortion services will open more doors for his group to support women.
"If they are coming here, we have an opportunity to talk to more women who might be coming long distance to get an abortion," he said.
More abortion clinics are expected to open in Illinois. A Texas abortion provider just announced it will open a clinic in Carbondale and others are planned for the Chicago region.