Planned Parenthood leaders say they've seen an influx of patient - KPTV - FOX 12

Planned Parenthood leaders say they've seen an influx of patients since election

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Throughout his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump vowed to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare. Now, with Trump's victory, Planned Parenthood leaders in Portland say they're seeing more women than ever before desperate to get their hands on long term birth control.

Right after the election, Planned Parenthood in Portland told FOX 12 it was slammed with phone calls from women asking to get in for an appointment while they can. Many telling staff they are afraid they're going to lose their health care coverage, now that Donald Trump is taking office.

It wasn't the outcome anyone at Planned Parenthood in Portland had hoped for. 

"The next day was coming in and caring for my staff, people were devastated by the result of the election," said Stacy Cross President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette. 

A staff distraught and suddenly dealing with more patient phone calls than ever before. 

"We normally in our call center get 400 appointment calls, and we got close to almost 700 the day after election. All from women who want to get LARC, long acting reversible contraceptives," said Cross. "Their one question was, 'what birth control can I get to cover me through this administration?' it's crazy."

And those calls haven't stopped. 

Stacy Cross said so far they're keeping up with the demand and making it a point to help as many people as possible.

"We are ready to stand up for patients and staff and protect people. We are never going to back down, never," Cross said. 

Nationwide, the nonprofit says they've seen an unprecedented surge in questions about access to health care and long term birth control, with the demand for IUD's increasing by more than 900 percent after Election Day.

Without coverage, Planned Parenthood told FOX 12 out of pocket costs for IUD's can range from $500 to $1,000 dollars.

"Really people are afraid they're going to lose their coverage afraid if ACA goes away birth control goes away," said Cross. "Because of the Affordable Care Act 55 million women now get birth control with no co-pay."

Cross told FOX 12 she travelled to Washington DC after the election to meet with members of congress to figure out what happens next.

Right now, they're preparing for what happens if Trump makes good on his promise to defund Planned Parenthood and dismantle the Affordable Care Act. 

"We're looking at defunding and the different ways that can come down and preparing scenarios to be ready for that," said Cross.

Cross said since the election, they've seen an outpouring of support from Portlanders. Donations to their office alone have increased threefold.

"It has really awoken a sleeping giant in the amount of people here and across the country that are supportive of Planned Parenthood that we've never seen," said Cross.

Oregon is considered the last state standing with no restrictions to reproductive health care. Cross said she'll fight with all she has left to keep it that way.

"We believe in taking care of patients' rights and our access," said Cross. "He has a family and we would hope he would believe that too. I wish more than anything he would stop this hateful rhetoric. If he's going to truly be the president for the people, all the people of America, that's a big percentage of the people he's saying hateful, harmful things about."

Cross said she and her staff at Planned Parenthood plan to participate in the march downtown after Trump's inauguration later this week.

In an interview with FOX news this week, Donald Trump shed some light on his vision for health care once he takes office. 

"We'll probably have block grants of medicaid back into the states and we will do things because, you know, there are people that can't afford it. And nobody is going to be dying on the streets with a President Trump," said President-elect Donald Trump. 

Trump also added when he is President he wants to take care of "everybody."

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