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The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper
Without Roe. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired September 03, 2023 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And in this region the number is abysmal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Make sure to tune in to a whole new episode of "THE WHOLE STORY WITH ANDERSON COOPER." That is next here on CNN.
Thanks for joining me this evening. Reporting from Washington, I'm Jim Acosta. I'll see you again here next weekend. Have a great week, everybody. Thanks a lot. Good night.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Welcome to THE WHOLE STORY. I'm Anderson Cooper.
It's been a year since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, taking away constitutional protections for abortion which had been in place for nearly half a century. The ruling left it up to states to determine whether the procedure would be legal within their borders. And since then at least 21 states have banned or restricted abortions.
Tonight we take you inside a secretive network of pilots and volunteers who help transport women and doctors around the country so they can access legal abortion procedures. And we'll show you what it's like for some women facing a very tough decision. And some of this may be difficult to watch.
MIKE BONANZA, ELEVATED ACCESS: Hi. I'm Mike. Either of you ever flown on an airline before? No?
When I first started flying, I never imagined that I would be transporting people to get access to abortion care.
You OK back there? OK. All right. You should be able to hear me now. All right. You plane is ready to go. Are your seat belts on and secure? This isn't too bad, is it?
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: The Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. Nearly half of all states have either banned or restricted abortions. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Many of them are
near each other, which means many of the neighboring states also don't have abortions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What we have seen is women will go through whatever hurdle to have a choice, including traveling hundreds of miles out of state.
MIKE BONANZA: This has got to beat taking the train, right?
We're finding creative ways that help people get access to abortion care. It really is a community coming together for people who can't get to the health care they need. If there aren't people willing to take risks.
You can take pictures, just don't take pictures of me.
Then there are going to be people left behind.
ANDREA GALLEGOS, ALAMO WOMEN'S CLINIC: I hate packing. I always forget something.
When the decision happened with Roe, it really just felt so defeating.
How many sweaters can I fit in this little bitty bag?
We had a clinic in San Antonio, Texas, and then Tulsa Women's Clinic in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It still makes me sad that, you know, we had to close two clinics. We started seriously talking, what can we do? Will we be able to open up clinics somewhere else?
So, yes, today I actually get to fly all the way from San Antonio straight to Missouri first.
And then from Missouri, drive to Illinois to Carbondale.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
GALLEGOS: So show me Illinois on the maps.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mommy, here.
GALLEGOS: That's where I got to go back today. So what do you all think you're going to do for your pajama day today?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you like an extra change of clothes?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you want, peanut butter crackers on top of your peanut butter sandwich?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want peanut butter crackers.
GALLEGOS: The little ones may not understand, but I think I know my oldest daughter understands, and she's the main reason why we're not all moving right now because she's a senior in high school. So it just made sense for her and everyone to stay.
I know it's hard having to move away and stuff, but we'll be home here. A lot of changes, right? A lot of changes, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're doing a lot for a lot of people.
GALLEGOS: Backpack. Come on, come on, come on, come on. You guys excited about school?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes, yes.
GALLEGOS: Why? I don't know why.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do stars poop?
GALLEGOS: I'm not sure they do.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're crazy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, you are.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mommy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to pick me up after school?
GALLEGOS: Yes. Daddy will pick you both up today.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is my school.
GALLEGOS: You want to give me a hug? I'll miss you, OK? Love you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Love you too. Text me when you get there.
GALLEGOS: I will.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sit back, relax, enjoy your roughly one hour and 38-minute flight to St. Louis. Welcome aboard.
GALLEGOS: Knowing that both the clinics in Texas and Oklahoma would no longer be able to exist, it was literally looking at a map and seeing Carbondale, Illinois, just stand out in a sea of states that would be banned -- Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of this flight crew on Southwest Airlines, we'd like to welcome you to St. Louis. GALLEGOS: This country has forced patients to be medical refugees of
their home state. But this is where we are at because of the fight on the other side to limit access.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome to the 50th March for Life.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't end as a response to Roe being overturned? Why? Because we're not yet done.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all need to get ready, get ready to march.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: Hey, hey, ho, ho. Abortion has got to go. Hey, hey, ho, ho. Abortion has got to go.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: We are the post-Roe generation and we will abolish abortion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The choice is before us. What will we choose, the law or anarchy? Justice or injustice? A future of death or a future of life?
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: God is good all the time.
REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): I can't thank you enough for continuing this fight. The next phase now begins. The next steps in a post-Roe era.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: Abortion is (EXPLETIVE DELETED) murder.
SCALISE: When you're in a battle, it's important to keep your focus on what the mission is.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: Abortion is murder, tell your friends. Tell your friends. Tell you family.
SCALISE: Life and death is at stake.
Let's continue this battle. Let's win this battle. God bless all of you. God bless the United States.
DR. JOEY BANKS, ALAMO WOMEN'S CLINIC: People need to be able to make choices for their life. If I can help someone, then I'm grateful I can do that, whether it be abortion work or whether it be what birth control you're going to take. It's my heart's calling. It's my faith's calling. It's my spiritual purpose. It's supposed to be what I'm doing. I'm, like, just one little cog on the wheel. Most of today's patients, everyone will have traveled. So I can do it if they can do it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Turn left onto South Illinois Avenue.
BANKS: I come to Illinois right now about every six weeks from Missoula, Montana. From leaving my house to Carbondale would be a total of about nine hours.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Turn left. Then your destination will be on the right.
BANKS: There aren't abortion providers everywhere. There's more doctors willing to travel because, you know, there's only certain places now that you can provide.
So, remember, it's Dr. Joey instead of Banks or ma'am, or ma'am. So if you have someone that's a brand-new patient, maybe call me in just to kind of alleviate their fear.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
BANKS: Regular health care that could help a person is no longer available to so many people. I'm totally grateful that so many people have stepped up and opened clinics in states that are still open.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I got you.
BANKS: But I think we have a kind of hard struggle ahead of us.
All right. Let's go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're closed, yes. Yes, you'll do the intro, then we'll have them come in. And action person.
KRISTAN HAWKINS, STUDENTS FOR LIFE OF AMERICA: There is so much potential for good to be done in our statehouses and on Capitol Hill because we know there's evil. But today my guest is one of the good ones, one of those who's fighting evil. Arkansas Senator Jason Rapert, who has done an amazing job advocating for pre-born life.
While he was senator, he introduced the strongest pro-life legislation ever passed in the statehouse.
JASON RAPERT, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN LAWMAKERS: Good to see you.
HAWKINS: Good to see you.
RAPERT: You bet. I think a lot's happened, but we still have a lot of work to do.
HAWKINS: That's right.
RAPERT: And it was God's divine will that Roe be overturned. But I also believe it is God's will that abortion be abolished in this nation completely.
HAWKINS: We need more Jasons in statehouses across the country because now that Roe is reversed, we all know the fight goes to the states. And this is where rubber meets the road. In order to seek the greatest amount of good right now in this post-Roe America, we need to just pass as many state laws as possible.
RAPERT: And when America abolishes abortion it will be as fundamental and changing to the soul of this nation as the abolishment of slavery was in the 1800s. As we both know, we've got some backdoors that have been created. And the idea of the abortion tourism thing that's happening is anathema to me. They're literally helping people take a trip and spend a few days so you can come and kill your baby. We go against human trafficking, but we're not stopping trafficking where they're killing a baby?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For decades, the anti-abortion movement has used medically false and misleading language to pass legislation that regulates a woman's body and takes away a woman's --
ALISON DREITH, MIDWEST ACCESS COALITION: They just want to break us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Along the way, anti-abortion advocates have injected a slew of misinformation and anti-scientific rhetoric into the discussion.
DREITH: The best act of resistance is pure survival. But for them to see us thriving hopefully is just an extra twist of the sword in their side.
Good girl. Everybody is going to be so happy to see you. Sit. Yes, sit. Right on your sister, that's good. Let's work now. It's 9:00.
All right. It's great to see all of us.
Midwest Access Coalition, we do all the logistical work to get a client to their abortion procedure.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a resource, and I'm going to show folks. Alison helped me. So different client resources and different updates on clinics.
DREITH: Booking accommodations, travel, gas money, childcare, anything a client says they need to make it to their appointment.
Dolly, calm down.
One, two, three, four. Gas, food, train. All right.
A lot of people like to drive if they have the opportunity. But if that's not an option, we look at buses, trains, commercial flights, and then we also use a new nonprofit called Elevated Access. They're a volunteer network of pilots.
MIKE BONANZA: So I just wanted to update you real quick. Odds are this pair has never flown on a small airplane before, may have not been on an airplane at all. It's either this hour-long flight or 11 to 15-hour bus or Amtrak ride.
DREITH: It's not like the big airports. There's no TSA. There's no security check. Crisis is the mother of all invention, I guess.
MIKE BONANZA: Just about every county in the United States has at least one airport, which means most people are within about 30 miles or less of an airport. I knew that as a pilot, there might be something more than I could do. We have a flight request from Scottsdale, Arizona, to San Francisco.
Same-day round trip. Stand by. I'll try to find an airport that might work.
DREITH: We got a client from Oklahoma going to Carbondale, and I said, don't forget to pick up your money from the clinic. No credit or debit card needed, and I'm here if she needs me.
MIKE BONANZA: We've got pilots lined up. It's like this airport is the best airport. Is the passenger still good to make this trip?
DREITH: My second client this morning, who was Texas to Wichita, she said two beds, please. My mom and grandmother are coming with me.
MIKE BONANZA: We've got our pilot and passenger in touch with each other. The flight is about 50 minutes out.
DREITH: I found an Amtrak ride so she could sleep in a little while longer.
MIKE BONANZA: North Carolina to Illinois.
DREITH: Iowa to Minnesota.
MIKE BONANZA: Try to find an airport that might work.
DREITH: I think I have one person on a bus.
MIKE BONANZA: Is there any way the passenger can get over to Chandler?
DREITH: Georgia to Ohio.
MIKE BONANZA: East Texas to St. Louis.
DREITH: Wisconsin to Chicago.
MIKE BONANZA: Porterville.
MIKE BONANZA: Alabama.
DREITH: Little Rock, Arkansas.
MIKE BONANZA: Little rock, Arkansas to --
DREITH: To Carbondale. MIKE BONANZA: Carbondale, Illinois. It's all free. There's no cost.
We're just taking people from point A to point B. No different than a taxi driver. But we don't want to know the person or the (INAUDIBLE) travel to help protect the pilots flying people from bounty states or banned states. We don't want to put the pilots or the passengers at any risk. I want to make sure that I can do what I can to keep myself and my family safe.
DREITH: Here. Come and get it. Come and get it. You dropped it. Did you find it? Good job. Come on. I don't want you to get sick.
I was the head of a reproductive rights organization in Missouri. Someone found my home address, and we received a death threat at our home. I was so scared. The police department basically said, there's nothing we can do about that. We decided to come back home. My great- grandpa's farm is five farms down. It was really intentional to be here in this quiet community and to be hidden.
Don't eat my hair.
My biggest fear is arrest. That if Missouri passes a law to stop aiding and abetting abortion or whatever they're calling it, that I'll be one of the people that they'll put a target on. Every day, I grow more and more scared that that could be my reality.
MIKE BONANZA: Part of why I enjoy flying is it's a way to get above it all literally, and I couldn't just sit there having this resource and not using it to help other people. My dad, he always flew kind of for recreation. He said, you know, hey, if you want to do your pilot's license, you can use the plane. That's when I finally started. You know, I grew up in a very conservative Christian household and community, and so my family does not know the details of what I do now. They do know I'm working in aviation, but I don't share the particulars of it.
DR. KEITH REISINGER-KINDLE D.O., EQUITY CLINIC: You see the planes? More interested in the flag.
MIKE BONANZA: So we fly obviously people for care, but we also fly the doctors, nurses, and others that are working in clinics. If the doctors that are doing this work burn out, get tired, wore out, that's one other way in which the whole ecosystem around abortion care can get worse still.
It's kind of warmer. It might be a little bumpy. But once we get up higher, it should smooth out a little bit at least. All right, Keith. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turn left eastbound runway. 1-4 left, clear for takeoff. Have a good flight.
[20:30:00] MIKE BONANZA: It's a bumpy day. I knew it was going to be some, but it's more than I even expected.
REISINGER-KINDLE: These short trips back in either place are the worst.
I compute from Ohio to Illinois every weekend because we anticipated a lot of worsening of access for patients particularly in the Midwest, until a group of us from those states actually banded together to help set up this clinic. As areas become more and more legally complicated around pregnancy termination, we're seeing fewer and fewer people work in this part of health care and in this region, the number is abysmal.
BANKS: All right. I'll check the machine.
REISINGER-KINDLE: If the few of us who are doing this work don't, no one does.
GALLEGOS: Hello. You have an appointment today?
BANKS: Whether it's this small or whether it's big, it always represents a centimeter, no matter what it is. And so what I liked is that you were here. (Speaking in foreign language)
GALLEGOS: We'll see patients that have jumped through every possible hoop, and they'll make it happen one way or the other.
Since Alamo has opened, we have supported 75 clients. So a client reached out, traveling from Oklahoma to Illinois.
I know that everything was covered for the abortion, but had you talked to anybody else about getting, like, just support to help travel?
DREITH: What's the good of covering the cost of a procedure if the client can't even afford to get to their abortion appointment? With the lockbox, we can go in to file a support request. Then we send the clinic a physical lockbox with the actual cash in it.
GALLEGOS: So you've got the Mac cash, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They already paid for the hotel, so we have to pick up the gas money.
DREITH: Looks like it's -- let's see how far of a drive this is. Seven hours and 45 minutes, 473.6 miles one way.
GALLEGOS: So that's $100, $200, $10, $15, $16. $216.
DREITH: $216 in round-trip gas funding.
GALLEGOS: That is yours.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
GALLEGOS: OK. You're welcome. DREITH: The cash really allows for even more anonymity without being
tracked or monitored, and nobody knows that they were there.
GALLEGOS: All right. These are her consent forms. Request for the ultrasound and then minors are allowed to have somebody in the waiting room with them. And about how far along are we thinking she might be?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is 12 weeks, four days.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After this is done, do you all offer birth control here?
GALLEGOS: Mm-hmm. We could give her a depo shot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will the depo shot make me gain weight, though?
GALLEGOS: It's solely up to you. We're happy to give it if you want us to give it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. We'll figure it out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will tell you these people are really supportive. Like all of them, the whole network. They've got organizations that help fund everything. These were expensive. Like they offer gas money, child care money, like everything.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last night we got stuck at the airport and it cost me $80 for a 10-minute ride to our hotel room.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. OK. So --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is what I'm trying to do. Can I ask, do you have that number written down?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Did you get the funding? OK. We'll (INAUDIBLE) right here. (INAUDIBLE). It gives (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Hello. How are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I'm fine. My daughter is 14, and we're at the abortion clinic. And I was needing help with funding. The traveling expenses, like, just to get around are like $80 and $60 a ride. And we're out of funds like right now. We went to Texas then from Texas we want to St. Louis, and then to Marion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is she going to help you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, ma'am. She's sending it already to the bank. Thank you so much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're welcome.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you're the daughter?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's my daughter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's funny, we both came in with -- how old are you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fourteen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, me too. We're both 14-year-olds.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Wants to be (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel you, girl.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Straight A student at home. Wants to be a lawyer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My gosh, I mean, everybody makes mistakes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's what I told her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, it could have ruined everything, her whole life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, like I'm not saying it wasn't like a mistake, but it was a mistake. But I would rather finish high school and, like, actually have a high school experience, (INAUDIBLE) and stuff, which I'm not going to risk my soccer career for a mistake that I made.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get my life on track and then go back to school Monday and start my little journey again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where did you come from?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Louisiana.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Louisiana? So y'all ain't got nothing down there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My situation is just like yours.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we drove, but it was still about five hours.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. We went through a lot of hoops to get here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where are you from?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mississippi.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mississippi? Oh. (INAUDIBLE).
GALLEGOS: The travel is pretty extraordinary.
Right this way. We're going to get you ibuprofen to help with discomfort, OK?
The will to just do what you got to do is always what amazes me by our patients. Just the strength.
Have a seat in there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kentucky, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I mean, every one of us are from somewhere different.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Roe being overturned made something as simple as geography a privilege in this country.
RAPERT: Are you a student?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am. I'm Maddie.
RAPERT: There's so many of you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know. We all kind of look the same, too.
RAPERT: How are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very good. How are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm Nicole.
RAPERT: Good to see you, Nicole. How are you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Great to meet you. Thank you.
RAPERT: Nice to meet you, too. All right.
There's not a dollar that you could ever spend that would be more important than this issue. You're not only investing in trying to stop abortion, you're investing in the future of the country. I don't know what the future holds for any of us, but I can tell you that this is not a day, and tomorrow will not be a day that's been wasted. It's been invested.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I run a crisis pregnancy center in Tucson, Arizona, and I'm really seeing that increase and the danger of the abortion pill. It is the abortion of choice. And I'm just, I mean, even in Arkansas, you have those rules, but that can come across your border. They can order it from a 1-800-number. What are we going to do about that?
RAPERT: We know in Arkansas, there are people violating our ban, and I think you're going to see a lot of legislation in different states trying to figure out a way to stop that. (APPLAUSE)
DR. JOEY BANKS, UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today is the day that you're going to take the pill that helps to stop the pregnancy. It starts to start the process, OK? 24 to 48 hours later, you're going to take your second set of pills, OK? And then the bleeding is probably going to start about four to six hours later and last four to six hours.
GALLEGOS: OK. We've got 20 surgicals on the schedule and about 25 pills. So busy day.
Hello. You are interested in the pill, right? Hi. We do the medication abortion up to 11 weeks, and we do the procedural up to 17 weeks and six days.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where did you have to come from today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We came from Jackson, Tennessee. I drove three hours.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this your first pregnancy?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What pregnancy is this for you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I had three already.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have three kids? OK. So is this your fourth?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, ma'am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you want to see the ultrasound today or no?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, that's fine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My mom was, like, battling back and forth. Even up to today. So I kind of was crying and going back and forth with myself, you know, kind of been stressed. I'm still stressed honestly. I had to weigh out my whole life, and I just think about myself but think about my kids as well.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. So you're measuring about eight weeks and five days, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to wipe this gel off of you, and then I'll show you the pictures, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, ma'am. I kind of just prayed about it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's the pictures for you. And then I'll come back in and give you your medication. [20:45:05]
GALLEGOS: This is the forbidden pill in so many states, Mifeprex, that we could literally go to prison for in Texas or Oklahoma.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So this first one, you'll just swallow with the water. And then these are your other packs of pills, OK? And then feel free to call us with any questions, concerns at all, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. I normally work 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and then I work the night shift, 12:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. I'm kind of always pressed for time. Once I leave here, we're going to get gas and go home to cook dinner and go over homework and prepare for worknight. Nobody knows what other people go through behind closed doors.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are both surgicals over here, right?
GALLEGOS: She's next, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello. My name is Andrea. I'm just going to do some labs, just a little finger prick, OK? And you're wanting to do the surgical procedure, correct?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where did you come here from?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Missouri. It was a two-hour drive. But I need to be out here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very painful. Oh, my god.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, it burns.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. I'll try to stick you in the other arm.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, that one's blown.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you use currently?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, but I haven't in about three or four months.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Miss Banks, she's ready for surgery.
BANKS: Hey, you. It's Dr. Joey. All right. Once we get everything set up, this is the shortest part of your day. What kind of work do you do?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I work from home since I have a baby that is on oxygen.
BANKS: Well, that is a full-time job.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her blood pressure's way up there. 156.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So this is why I had my son so early.
BANKS: Oh, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was only one pound, 14 ounces.
BANKS: Doing well?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, he's getting much better.
BANKS: Oh, excellent. And if they stay slightly elevated, reach out to your primary.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I have an appointment with them.
BANKS: You feel like you can tell them about this or not?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I'm just -- my little secret.
BANKS: Yes. And if for any reason something comes up, you know, we're doing the exact same thing we would do as if you were miscarrying. I'm going to just barely open your cervix. You are in charge of everything. You are in control. Feel some cold cotton.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should I relax?
BANKS: You are relaxing. Good job. What are you doing right now in life?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I paint and I bike.
BANKS: Yay. What's your medium for paint?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I use acrylic.
BANKS: Oh, really? Just normal period cramp pressure. Everything is super safe. You got the focus here. You got this. So big breath in and big breath out. Five, four, three, two, one. All done. We're done, done.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was your name?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joey.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much. BANKS: You're welcome. And it's OK to have the tears now, too. So we
like relief tears, right? That's totally OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My sister called and said the baby was crying. She didn't know what was wrong with him. He gets a breathing treatment in the morning, and he's on medications and stuff. There's a lot, a lot to do. I don't own a home. I don't even a vehicle. I don't work. I would have had to probably go full time and give the baby up for adoption. I don't know if I could live with that.
I'm lucky I got to do what I wanted to do.
MIKE BONANZA: Either of you have flown on an airline before?
Today is pretty smooth. Yes, I don't know their age. But based on the way they looked I'm guessing they weren't old enough to rent a car. And from what I understood, it was several hours each way to get from where they were to Carbondale. I can't imagine there's a direct bus or train between those two places.
All right. Your plane's ready to go. Are your seatbelts on and secure?
When we lifted off, they were like, almost like a roller coaster. It was that point then when the turkey vultures appeared in front of us, and I had to give them the real roller coaster ride of pushing the plane down to avoid these birds. They got a little bit of a wild ride to do that, which triggered one more big scream.
Even I as a kid, the first airplane ride I ever got, like I did not want to go. And I bawled my eyes out. Like I do not want to go on an airplane. I'm scared. But I eventually got to the point that I love it.
I'm like, I'm sorry I had to do that. Hopefully it will be level here soon, and sure enough, they started looking out the window, I think, maybe finally and realized like, oh, we can see our town.
Now we can fly over the interstate and look at all the people going slower than we are.
You know, they hadn't seen anything like that before.
We're about to cross from Arkansas into Missouri.
I just can't imagine what these people's lives would be if they weren't getting the support. And so being able to hopefully make things have fewer barriers, that makes it easier to get through a process that maybe they don't want to do, but they know that's what's going to be best for them.
That's pretty neat. We came out of the top of the cloud.
GALLEGOS: How is everybody feeling? Still sick?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Here, come here, talk to Mommy.
GALLEGOS: Hi, baby. Hi.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mommy, where are you?
GALLEGOS: I'm in Illinois right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you working in Illinois?
GALLEGOS: I am. What are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it morning -- is it morning at your place?
GALLEGOS: No, it's evening just like it is over there. It's the exact same time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's evening? (INAUDIBLE) come back to the house?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you relaxed out there?
GALLEGOS: I am. Hey, tell me about your day at school. You had your float parade?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I was looking to see if you were there.
GALLEGOS: There's a lot, when I'm gone, that I miss. But I think what makes it worth it is knowing that the majority of our patients come from states that have banned abortion. We're doing exactly what we intended to do here.
DREITH: Taking care of your own life and health care needs, there's a strength in that. There's power in that. I typically don't want to share my story with clients that I support, but sometimes it's a way to show the next person that they're not alone. We're not alone.
I had my own abortion in 2016. Just like you are having to travel now for the care you deserve, I had to also leave my home state to seek care in a better place.
BANKS: How long was your drive from Oklahoma, or did you fly?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was about nine and a half hours.
DREITH: You are in good, caring hands.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's in recovery. She did awesome.
DREITH: And you are also strong and powerful in your own right.
BANKS: Big breath out, tell yourself you're safe.
DREITH: Sending you love, strength, and power. Alison. BANKS: Where are you coming from today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We come from Jackson, Tennessee.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Houston.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mississippi.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Missouri.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kentucky.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Louisiana.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I drove a little over three hours.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Four and a half hours.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eight hours.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five hours.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three and a half hours, one way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The drive was worth it. It wasn't just an eight- hour drive for no reason.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even though you have goals, you know you have dreams, you know you're trying to accomplish things.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is my decision right now. I'm glad I got to make it.
GALLEGOS: We're going to provide until we can't. As far as I'm concerned, we're not going anywhere. You just can't give up.
MIKE BONANZA: Here we are.
GALLEGOS: Hi. You have an appoint today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
COOPER: Even more states are expected to further restrict access to abortion. And so groups like the ones you just saw say they will keep coming up with different solutions to provide access to women who need it.
Thanks so much for watching THE WHOLE STORY. I'll see you next Sunday.