Florida abortion ban prompts two Southern states to prep for an influx of patients

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After the Florida Supreme Court cleared the way for a state ban on abortions after six weeks, clinics in North Carolina and Virginia say they are gearing up for an influx of patients.

Once the law takes effect on May 1, Florida will no longer be a refuge for people seeking abortions across the South. The state currently allows abortions up to 15 weeks of pregnancy — a far less restrictive policy than those implemented in many nearby states, including Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi, since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022.

More than 9,300 people traveled to Florida from other states to get abortion care last year — more than double the number in 2020, according to data from the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion access.

Around 84,000 abortions were performed in Florida in 2023, representing around 1 in 12 abortions nationwide.