Demand for abortion services in Colorado skyrockets since SCOTUS ruling

DENVER (KDVR) — A nonprofit organization dedicated to providing resources to women seeking abortion care in Colorado said it has seen a drastic increase in demand in the month since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade.

Cobalt has worked in Colorado since 1967, when the state first decriminalized abortion. The organization has a fund to provide financial assistance to people seeking abortion care. As Colorado has codified the right to abortion care in new state law, lawmakers are seeking to further strengthen protections.

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned on June 24, leaving abortion rules to the states and creating a patchwork system of care across the country, Cobalt data shows financial demand for services has grown exponentially.

“Within hours of the Dobbs decision, our number of clients tripled,” said Amanda Carlson, director of the Cobalt Abortion Fund. “We now average about 20-25 people we serve per day. It could be funding for procedures, it could be travel assistance. It could be both. »

Cobalt sees surge in out-of-state abortion clients after Roe

The Cobalt Abortion Fund generally goes to two pools: helping with the cost of the procedure and helping with what’s called “practical support,” which includes travel costs, child care, and hotel rooms. .

The organization claims to have helped 168 customers with hands-on support, 64% of them were from Texas, 31% from other states and 5% of them are from here in Colorado. This is an increase from the 31 total patients who received practical help in 2021.

According to Cobalt, the real impact is in the money spent on practical support. He spent $57,773 on these support expenses from June 24 to July 21. Over $20,000 of that amount was for hotels and another $15,000 for flights.

This represents a quarter of the total $206,511 spent by the Cobalt Abortion Fund in 2021, and nearly 10 times the $6,054 spent on practical support last year.

“We are facing the new normal, this high volume of people who not only need funding for the procedure, but now need travel assistance in all aspects – flights, hotels, sometimes reimbursement cash for childcare,” Carlson said.

For abortion procedures, which cost between $400 and $600 in the first trimester according to Cobalt, the fund will typically help cover about half the cost.

So far this year, the fund says it has spent $152,536 on 710 procedures. This equates to about $215 per procedure on average. For the whole of last year, by comparison, the fund spent about $200,000 on 1,154 procedures, which averages about $173.

“We’ve seen this domino effect where if appointment slots fill up in Colorado Springs, for example, Colorado Springs residents might have to book appointments in Denver,” Carlson said. “And we are very grateful to the myriad of suppliers who have stepped up. They added staff, they added shifts to their schedules, but there are only so many hours in the day. We have to figure out how to meet that need because we are in a national health care crisis and unfortunately there are other states like Kansas looking to ban abortion in their state and that would have another domino effect devastating.

Planned Parenthood sees longer waits for abortion services

FOX31 contacted Planned Parenthood to inquire about the impact. We have received the following items:

• Our doors are open. We work hard to see as many patients as possible, while also working to expand access to abortion.
• About half of our patients now come to us from other states.
• Wait times fluctuate each week, but the general trend is for wait times to get longer.
• For a medical abortion, we could usually do walk-in visits. Now we are looking at a 7-10 day wait for a medical abortion.
• For a procedural abortion, it depends on the stage of the pregnancy. A patient could wait up to two weeks for a procedural abortion.
• We have taken some steps to prepare for and mitigate the effect of this decision.
• We’ve been expanding our services for years — expanding our geographic footprint and offerings, and expanding telehealth.
• Although we have been preparing for this decision and expanding our services for years, health centers in our region will struggle to manage long-term demand. We need to expand and protect care in neighboring states.

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