In the state of New York, fourth in the country (20 million inhabitants), classified on the left because of the weight of its megalopolis, politicians and health professionals had been preparing for weeks for the burial of the right to interruption. voluntary pregnancy by the Supreme Court of the United States.

And in this democratic state in the northeast, an influx of patients is now expected from conservative states in the south and center of the country, some of which immediately banned abortion on their soil on Friday.

“We know that the needs will skyrocket,” said Sarah Moeller, a health professional with the Brigid Alliance association, which pays for travel, board and lodging and financially supports women of modest means who have to perform an abortion.

Her association helps a hundred women each month and Ms Moeller now estimates that “hundreds of thousands more people will have to travel outside their states for abortion-related health care”.

Alice Mark, doctor and adviser to the National Abortion Federation in Massachusetts also wonders “what will happen to all these people in the 26 states where abortion will be partially or completely banned”.

There are currently, according to her, 300,000 abortions per year in all these conservative states such as Louisiana, Missouri or Oklahoma.

As in Massachusetts — even though its governor is Republican and abortion is expensive there — Ms Mark hopes “states like Illinois” will make their clinics more accessible by hiring more staff and opening at night and the weekend.

Upon the shock announcement of the Supreme Court’s decision, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul was the first politician to denounce a “rollback of the rights of millions of American women” and promised to “invest 35 million dollars to facilitate access to health services for abortion”.

“Our state will always be a sanctuary for those seeking to perform an abortion,” assured the elected Democrat.

On the other side of America, the governors of three “progressive” West Coast states — Gavin Newsom in California, Kate Brown in Oregon and Jay Inslee for Washington State — have “engaged” in a statement to “defend access to contraceptive health care, including abortion”.

They regretted that “in more than half of the country – or 33.6 million women (10% of the American population, editor’s note) – abortion (is) henceforth illegal or inaccessible”.

The three states must release 152 million dollars in aid.

– “Sadness” and “anger” –

In New York, several residents interviewed by AFP in the borough of Brooklyn expressed their “sadness” and their anger “at the historic about-face of the Supreme Court.

But if Lili Bernstein, 21, wonders if she still wants to “be part of this country”, Nabila Valentin, 36, says on the contrary “happy to live in the State of New York where (she) ( s) feel(s) safe and (his) rights are protected”.

Community associations also campaign for the right to abortion.

Like the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), based in the federal capital Washington, which created a “Jewish fund for access to abortion in partnership with the national federation for the abortion,” its president, Sheila Katz, told AFP.

She too is counting on the Democratic states of the northeast to be “sanctuaries” for women: because “the urgency is to help people get in touch for access to abortion”.

Ms. Katz promises to “continue to (fight) so that everyone can make their own decision, in conscience, about their body, their life, their future. Whoever they are and wherever they live”.