Planned Parenthood to close 4 Iowa clinics after funding cut

Adjust Comment Print

Four Planned Parenthood health care clinics in Iowa will be forced to close thanks to a new state law that bans health care providers who perform abortions from receiving Medicaid money, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland announced Thursday. The state opted, instead, to allocate $3.3 million to "recreate its own family planning network so that it can prohibit the funding of clinics that provide abortions", per the Des Moines Register.

The clinics will close June 30, according to Planned Parenthood's Twitter account, which posted the news at about 2:15 p.m.

- Planned Parenthood (@PPHeartland) May 18, 2017@TerryBranstad The closing of 4 centers-Sioux City, Quad Cities, Burlington & Keokuk-is a direct result of defunding by @terrybranstad & @kimreynoldsia.

The locations served by those four Planned Parenthood clinics represent both sides of the state, and some of its most densely populated communities.

Republican legislators have argued the move will expand family planning services by freeing up funds and encouraging existing Medicaid providers to participate in the program.

Planned Parenthood serves about 30 percent of those enrolled in the state's Medicaid family planning waiver program.

More news: Google poised to roll out arsenal of services, gadgets

Prichard said, too, that Iowa needs to address what he called a crisis in mental health care. Planned Parenthood is NOT a "health care" provider.

"If this law is allowed to go into effect, it will have a chilling effect on teenagers already dealing with a hard situation", said Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of the two-state Planned Parenthood organization. While Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the USA, the Casper clinic's services include abortion referrals, not abortions themselves. "In a market where there are so many better options, women don't need to get their health care from Planned Parenthood".

The other centers closing are in Keokuk, Sioux City and Burlington.

Iowa faced tough budgeting decisions this year, and the costly new program was approved as a GOP priority despite criticism from Democrats that it would happen during statewide budgeting constraints and drastic agency cuts. "If we care about taking care of people, we would fund Planned Parenthood and keep these types of services available", he said after a meeting at the United Food and Commercial Workers union hall on West Central Park Avenue.

"There's no secret that the reproductive health landscape right now is tough", she said, referring to the "defund Planned Parenthood" campaigns from opponents of abortion. The anti-abortion "movement is making tremendous strides in changing the hearts and minds, to return to a culture that once again respects human life".