Health agencies work to educate UW-Madison students about abortion access options

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – With classes set to begin soon, health agencies are scrambling to help college students understand their options for accessing abortion.

UW-Madison students can no longer get abortions at a clinic near campus — many are turning to UW Madison Health Services for advice. Roe v. Wade was canceled in June and University Health Services executive director Jake Baggott says they are now getting more questions.

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

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

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

Planned Parenthood Communications Coordinator in Wisconsin, Lisa Boyce provides funding for abortions and travel costs for patients who need financial assistance.

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

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

“There’s no trapping in a state where you can move freely, you know, like your body belongs to you and you can move around however you want, you know,” Ware said.

If a student is alone and needs additional support, abortion doulas help provide physical and emotional support, walking the patient through unplanned pregnancy procedures.

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