Health agencies work to inform UW-Madison students on abortion access options

Roe v. Wade was overturned in June and University Health Services Executive Director Jake Baggott says they’re now receiving more questions.
Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 7:07 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2022 at 7:38 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)- With classes set to begin soon, health agencies are working to help university students understand what their options are when it comes to abortion access.

UW-Madison students can no longer receive an abortion at a clinic near campus- many are turning to UW Madison Health services guidance. Roe v. Wade was overturned in June and University Health Services Executive Director Jake Baggott says they’re now receiving more questions.

“You know, it’s really more about where we can refer students who want to seek services that aren’t available in Wisconsin. and so there are certainly surrounding states and other locations, and students’ individual circumstances may really affect or influence where they go if they if they want to seek services that aren’t available in Wisconsin,” said Baggott.

He says unplanned pregnancies can change a student’s ability to complete their academic goals.

“I know that these decisions are important. They’re difficult and they impact people in different ways,” Baggott said.

Planned Parenthood Communications Coordinator in Wisconsin Lisa Boyce offers funding for abortions and travel expenses for patients that need financial assistance.

“You know, I think just as a mother of a college student myself, I can absolutely understand what college students are going through when they’re in a new environment. so just knowing that they are not alone, that they have a ready resource,” Boyce said.

The organization, Pregnancy Options Wisconsin: Education Resources and Support Phoneline Coordinator Lexy Ware says that abortions are banned in Wisconsin but it is not illegal to cross state lines to receive one.

“There’s no trapping in a state like you can freely move, you know, like your body is yours and you can move as you freely want to move, you know,” Ware said.

If a student is alone and needs some extra support, abortion doulas help to give physical and emotional support, coaching the patient through unplanned pregnancy procedures.

“Often people will be in the clinic during that day, meet up with the person who’s having the abortion that day, be with them in the room, you know, kind of talked to them about what’s going to happen,” Ware said.