Four Iowa Planned Parenthood Locations Closing After State Cuts Funding to Abortion Facilities

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Four Planned Parenthood locations in Iowa will close next month following a newly-passed budget bill that strips state and federal funding from abortion providers.

The organization announced on Thursday that it would close its Sioux City, Bettendorf, Burlington and Keokuk offices, leaving eight Planned Parenthood locations in the state and five abortion facilities.

As previously reported, Iowa lawmakers passed House File 653 in April, which directs the state to create its own family planning fund, estimated at $3.1 million, as opposed to using Medicaid for such purposes.

“The Department of Human Services shall discontinue the Medicaid family planning network waiver effective July 1, 2017, and shall instead establish a state family planning services program,” the bill read in part. “Distribution of family planning services program funds shall not be made to any entity that performs abortions or that maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed.”

The rule does not apply to miscarriages or cases when the woman’s life is deemed to be in danger.

Planned Parenthood decried the outcome of the law, claiming that the closure of four of its facilities will leave “women without the healthcare they depend on.”

“I am concerned about the health and well-being of the people in Iowa who now can no longer turn to their trusted healthcare provider,” Raegan McDonald-Mosley, chief medical officer at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. “What is happening in Iowa is what we could see across the country if Congress passes this dangerous law to defund Planned Parenthood.”

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However, pro-life groups in the state contend that women have many other options for family planning services—locations that do not engage in ending the lives of the unborn.

“This is good news for families in the state of Iowa,” Maggie DeWitte, director of Iowans for Life, said in a statement. “There are many quality community health centers in Iowa that provide comprehensive healthcare to women and families across the state. And they do so without taking the life of precious human beings.”

As previously reported, earlier this month, it was announced that Planned Parenthood would close six locations in the Southwest, including in Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. The only Wyoming location is also slated to close for financial reasons.

“We looked at what services we provided,” Adrienne Mansanares of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains told the Star Tribune. “We also looked at the financial health of the health center.”

She explained that most women obtaining services were going to the Fort Collins, Colorado location. The Casper location saw an estimated 500 women a year. It offered contraception, testing for sexually transmitted diseases and abortion referrals.

Spokeswoman Whitney Phillips said that Planned Parenthood will now refer women to area community health centers, which accept walk-ins and Medicaid.

According to reports, Planned Parenthood closed 27 locations in 2016.

The organization’s latest annual report outlines that Planned Parenthood performed 323,999 abortions nationwide during the 2014-2015 fiscal year. The figure accounts for at least one-third of all abortions nationwide, when compared to statistics released in November by the Centers for Disease Control.

However, figures also show that the number of women visiting Planned Parenthood is the lowest in almost a decade. The report totals its services provided as being 9,455,582, with business being down by nearly a million persons from the year before, when figures totaled 10,590,333.

Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms as it is not licensed to operate mammogram machines, and its annual report outlined that fewer than 700,000 women received services surrounding cervical cancer screenings (pap smears for women who have been sexually active), equating to just seven percent of its services.

Sexually-related services, such as STD testing, contraceptives, sterilization and vasectomies, pregnancy testing and the aforementioned pap smears, accounted for over 80 percent of its offerings when combined, as opposed to women’s healthcare, such as medical care for hormonal imbalances, menstrual or menopausal issues, or breast or ovarian ailments. The organization provides sparse pre-natal services and offers no post-natal care.

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