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'The initial feeling is numbness and shock' | Planned Parenthood in Connecticut fielding calls and concerns after abortion decision

Abortion is legal in Connecticut and the decision by the SCOUTS means people who live in states where it's illegal or restricted may be coming for abortion services.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) is already fielding calls and concerns.

"The initial feeling is numbness and shock. And then, there’s some anger," said a staff member at their New Haven office. 

On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal visited the New Haven office to thank the staff for persevering and assured them they will continue to fight for people's rights to choose if they want to have children.

RELATED: Hartford demonstrators rally for abortion access

"Now we have a nightmare upon us. And that nightmare is real and horrific,"  Blumenthal said after touring the facility.

Abortion is still legal in Connecticut, but the decision by the Supreme Court means people who live in states where it's illegal or restricted may be coming to the Nutmeg State for healthcare.

“SB8 has been in effect in Texas since September. So, we already have seen the devastating impact of these abortion bans," said Amanda Skinner, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.

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At least one patient has already traveled to Connecticut for abortion services from Texas, the organization said.

"Our health center staff were phenomenal and amazing in meeting that patient and providing her both excellent medical care and the emotional support that she needed to navigate receiving abortion care because of a rape after traveling 2,000 miles," said Dr. Nancy Stanwood, chief medical officer for PPSNE.

To handle the anticipated increase in demand, Planned Parenthood will be training advanced practice clinicians, like midwives and physician assistants, on abortion care. That’s all possible because of a law Connecticut passed earlier this year in anticipation of this all happening, allowing outsiders to legally get care without repercussions. 

"I’m here also to tell them that we will fight for the resources that they will need if there is a surge in the number of people seeking care," Blumenthal said.

RELATED: Roe v. Wade decision presents both moral dilemma and political opportunity

But they also need support from the public because the journey ahead could be long. Blumenthal warned that the rights Connecticut residents have right now are not permanent. 

“The blunt fact is Mitch McConnell says he will lead an effort to ban abortion nationally. If the Republicans take the house, that kind of legislation will become the law of the land, if it's signed by a Republican president," Blumenthal said. 

But in the face of adversity, those with Planned Parenthood are hopeful. 

“I get tremendous hope when I show up at our health centers and see our staff showing up for our patients every single day, undaunted, undeterred," Skinner said

Julia LeBlanc is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jleblanc@fox61.com Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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