State leaders in New Jersey and New York are trying to reassure residents that an upcoming Supreme Court decision that could overturn Roe v. Wade won't affect their access to abortions.

Abortion providers in New York are ramping up to provide more access, but New Jersey – with the third highest abortion rate in the country – is also preparing for an influx of patients from neighboring states where reproductive rights are more restricted.

WNYC/Gothamist spoke with Vice President of Public Affairs at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey Kaitlyn Wojtowicz to get an understanding of how some health care providers are preparing. The interview was lightly edited for clarity.

Have clinicians and providers in your networks been hearing from patients that are concerned about the news or upcoming abortion appointments or the future of abortion access?

Generally, I think today was another, in a long line of disheartening days that we've had to face at planned parenthood and as folks who stand for reproductive rights, Over the past few months and years, even as we've seen states. Race to restrict abortion access and push it further out of reach. I think most folks today woke up seeing the news shocked, disappointed, but unfortunately not surprised as we know that this was coming for a long time.

What does someone do is seeking an abortion in New Jersey?

Thanks to the freedom of reproductive choice act, which was signed in January of this year, anyone in New Jersey has the right to access abortion. Anyone who comes here for care has the right to an abortion. I also want to be clear that abortion is still legal across the United States right now, until the final decision comes down. Abortion remains legal in all 50 states and in New Jersey, it will remain legal after that as well. If someone is seeking an abortion in New Jersey, they could go to their provider and get a referral to a physician or a clinician that provides the care. Of course they can come to any of the Planned Parenthood health centers in New Jersey and get the care that they need and deserve.

Legality is not necessarily the same thing as access. That's especially true for cost. What happens in New Jersey when someone can't afford to get an abortion?

Rights without access are frankly meaningless. So in New Jersey – if someone doesn't have insurance – at Planned Parenthood, we don't turn folks away. There are also funds in New Jersey, the New Jersey Abortion Access Fund, which can help folks for their abortion if they need it. We are fortunate in New Jersey that Medicaid will pay for abortion care. However, if someone can't access insurance or Medicaid, largely because of their documentation status or because they are an undocumented immigrant, in our state, there is no coverage for them.

Are there options for somebody who is coming from out of state?

Right now, there's nothing in our state – in terms of state programs – that would help someone who's coming from out of state. We've seen other states, like California, put something in place and unfortunately New Jersey doesn't have anything like that. Right now for someone coming out of state, they would work with our providers and local abortion funds, like any other person. Getting to New Jersey is the real barrier for those folks.

How are all of you thinking about trying to prepare for a potential influx of out-of-state patients if the Supreme Court does follow through with its leaked opinion?

What I can say is we've already started to see an influx of patients from out of state. We've always had the typical folks coming from Pennsylvania because maybe the closest health center was in Trenton; but we've already seen – after what happened in September in Texas with SB 8 – folks coming from there and from other states. So, we know that this is going to continue to happen and it's likely going to increase.

What I can say in terms of how we've tried to prepare for this moment: We were lucky enough last year to have the board of medical examiners rescind a restriction on physician-only provided abortions. Now we are training advanced practice clinicians, such as nurse practitioners, physician's assistants, so that they can provide the procedure of an in-clinic abortion. That is going to greatly increase the provider network and hopefully help with the volume of patients that we expect we may see here.