BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) — Local abortion clinics are preparing for a potential influx in patients after the Supreme Court draft opinion.

“I was expecting the decision to be bad, but I sort of was hoping it to be less bad than it is,” said Michelle Casey, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York. “This is the worst possible outcome, and a complete overturn of Roe would be devastating to women across the country.”

Casey said overturning Roe v. Wade could cause women in other states to seek unsafe ways to end a pregnancy.

“We think there’s 26 states that will essentially go dark, or almost dark, for abortion care,” she said. “So we expect to see quite an influx of patients from Ohio at first. Then, particularly from many jurisdictions who are seeking abortion care appointments.”

If the Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade is reversed, abortion would not be illegal on a federal level — instead it would leave it up to each state to decide if it’s illegal.

Those who are pro-life call this a step in the right direction.

“If that final decision does in fact overturn Roe v. Wade, we as pro-life feminists, are grateful. We see it as a step toward rehumanizing humanity,” said Michele Sterlace, the executive director of Feminists Choosing Life of New York.

Those who are pro-choice say it would actually be a step backward.

“We need people to wake up, abortion is a fundamental human right. An overwhelming amount of people support a person’s right to choose, and we need everyone to be vocal about this,” said pro-choice and pro-abortion activist Jennifer Page.

As a result of this leaked document, pro-choice activists are holding several rallies in Buffalo, including a pro-choice rally and a women’s march, both set for next weekend.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.