Santa Clara County sees rise in out-of-state patients seeking abortions

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors is considering the approval of $3 million for Planned Parenthood as a growing number of out-of-state patients have been coming to Northern California for abortions.

The funds would allow the region to expand services, as many other states contract theirs.

"We know abortion rights are more fragile than they've been in decades in this country," said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez.

The Planned Parenthood Mar Monte region, which encompasses half of California and much of Nevada, has already seen 80 patients come from out of state since last July. Of that, 29 of them came from Texas after SB8 went into effect, severely limiting abortions.

Officials say studies predict this is just the beginning.

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"We're going to see about a 3000% increase of patients into California which is about 1.5 million patients. It's going to take all of us to take care of those patients," said Stacy Cross, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte.

Santa Clara County Supervisors Chavez and Susan Ellenberg said the additional funds would help provide treatment to those patients.

"This money will help us do what we do better and more broadly and reach more people, and particularly reach the people who have the least access and the least ability to get this very much needed care," said Ellenberg.

The money would go toward additional training for doctors, expanded facilities and testing services, and a bigger telehealth program.

"We are ready to take care of these patients. We are a sanctuary state. It's just being able to have the staffing and the resources to be able to do that," said Cross.

Some strongly disagree with giving more money to Planned Parenthood.

"Well that's wrong because they can use the money for better things," one woman said.

But the Supervisors said it's necessary to help women locally and those coming from out of state.
The supervisors said they took action when federal funds were restricted during the last administration and they feel the same responsibility again.

"We had to step in then. We'll step in now. We'll step in as long as we're needed," said Chavez.

The proposal is set to go before the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors at Tuesday's meeting.