‘Will do whatever it takes’: Indiana OB-GYN and abortion provider moves her practice to Illinois

CHICAGO (CBS) — In a little more than three weeks, abortions in the state of Indiana will officially be illegal, with few exceptions.

In a post Roe v. Wade world, women are crossing state lines to get an abortion. But now were learning doctors are too, to continue to be able to do their job

CBS 2’s Marissa Perlman has the story of one Indiana doctor. Dr. Katie McHugh said she is part of a new exodus of abortion doctors who are setting up shop in Illinois because they can no longer practice in their home state.

It’s not a choice Dr. McHugh said she wants to make, but said she has to, for her own patients and her practice.

“My name is Dr. Katie McHugh and I am an OB/GYN and abortion provider in Indiana.”

Dr. Katie McHugh, life long Indiana resident and OB/GYN, is taking to TikTok to share what its like being an abortion practitioner right now in Indiana.

“This is probably the 10th night in a row I can’t sleep…I am up thinking about what to do.”

Up thinking about what to do, now that her work will soon be criminalized.

“We will do whatever it takes to be able to provide that care, and sometimes that means leaving our homes,” McHugh said.

The new law passed by the Indiana General Assembly and signed by the governor in August will close abortion clinics starting September 15th, unless they are run by a hospital, making Dr. McHugh’s practice illegal.

She’s now planning to move her work to Illinois to help the up to 30,000 additional patients who could travel to the state for abortions.

And she’s not the only one in her field making this choice.

“We are choosing to move our practices and to travel to states where we are able to provide this care,” McHugh said.

She’s eyeing opening her practice in Illinois close to the Indiana border, the Chicago area or in southern Illinois to help with patients coming in from Kentucky or Tennessee.

But up until last month, she had plans to stay and work in Indiana her whole life.

“Being forced to leave my home because of the work that I do is so heartbreaking,” McHugh said.

And the competition from other doctors making the same move is tough.

“All of us who are coming to your state to work or to seek care we are competing with the people who are already are in Illinois,” added McHugh.

But Dr. McHugh said she has no choice.

“Just because my state has taken the backwards decision that people should not be able to make those decision does not mean that my oath changes,” McHugh said. “So I will take my oath to Illinois.” 

Her entire family including her kids are in Indiana, so Dr. McHugh will be commuting from Indiana to Illinois for now. She’s applied for her medical license in Illinois and is working with clinics here to find out exactly where she’ll set up shop.

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