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'It's almost like playing the lottery': Abortion providers struggle with high demand

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Dan Margolies
/
KCUR
Planned Parenthood Great Plains runs clinics that perform abortions in three Kansas cities: Wichita, Kansas City and Overland Park.

Kansas is one of a few states in its region where abortion is legal. Planned Parenthood Great Plains is struggling to keep up with demand as patients travel from as far as Texas and Louisiana to receive care.

Abortion providers say the demand for abortion in Kansas is so high that clinics are only seeing about 10 to 15% of the people who call to request an appointment.

Historically, it was common for patients to have to wait a couple of weeks for an appointment. But now, they're lucky if they are able to secure an appointment in Kansas at all.

"To say someone who drove ten hours in the middle of the night to get to our clinic is lucky is just a testament to how unfortunate this situation is for a lot of people," says Dr. Iman Alsaden of Planned Parenthood Great Plains.

Alsaden and Planned Parenthood Great Plains president and CEO Emily Wales joined KCUR's Up to Date to discuss abortion access in Kansas.

  • Emily Wales, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains
  • Dr. Iman Alsaden, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood Great Plains
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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
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