Four Planned Parenthood clinics to close in Iowa after defunding

Local lawmakers have released statements reacting to the news about the closures.

The funding changes forced dozens of Planned Parenthood clinics there to close in 2012, according to researchers at the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, which studies the effects of family planning funding cuts and restrictions.

June 30 is the closing date for Planned Parenthood clinics in Burlington, Keokuk and Sioux City.

The locations served by those four Planned Parenthood clinics represent both sides of the state, and some of its most densely populated communities. "And instead what they are doing is, in order to target abortion providers, they have chose to stop accepting Medicaid dollars for family planning services and create their own, 100 percent state-funded family planning program specifically to preclude abortion providers from participating", she told Jezebel over the phone. The state is "giving up millions of dollars in federal funding" that pays for family planning services like birth control, cancer screenings, breast exams, STD tests and treatment, and more, according to Planned Parenthood of the Heartland communications director Susan Allen.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has taken legal action in the wake of the governor's bill signing May 5, securing a temporary injunction from the Iowa Supreme Court on the 72-hour waiting period provision of Senate File 471. But Planned Parenthood and other supporters argue that those providers don't offer the same specialized care that can accommodate its high volume of patients.

The new state family planning program will cost the state about $3 million; the previous setup with the federal government allowed Iowa to pay about $300,000 through a 90 percent to 10 percent match.

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The Quad Cities clinic will remain open for a few months beyond the other closures to provide abortion services until the building is sold.

"We have said from the very beginning that there are many, many other qualified health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women".

Similarly, Planned Parenthood's annual cancer screenings have reportedly decreased 68 percent, an outcome that leaves the group with less than two percent of USA cancer screenings performed for women. Two suits filed a year ago challenged a ban on abortions because of fetal genetic abnormalities and a mandate that forces women to undergo an ultrasound at least 18 hours before having an abortion.

Patients will be notified this week that they will no longer have services provided at the four locations. "For many Iowans, Planned Parenthood is the only access they have to health care services, and forcing these clinics to close will only mean families will have less access to basic medical services".

Backers of the move to completely "defund" Planned Parenthood say tax dollars should not go to any facility where abortions are performed. "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. "As more people have become involved in the discussion, they've come to the realization that life begins at conception".

  • Phil Peters