Four Planned Parenthood Clinics Will Close Due to State Funding Cuts

Ken Falk and Betty Cockrum

Four of the 12 Planned Parenthood clinics in Iowa are set to shut down, a week after the state's governor signed a law blocking access to the health care provider through Iowa's state Medicaid program.

Planned Parenthood local president Betty Cockrum says the law "will have a chilling effect on teenagers already dealing with a hard situation".

Similarly, Planned Parenthood's annual cancer screenings have reportedly decreased 68 percent, an outcome that leaves the group with less than two percent of US cancer screenings performed for women.

Iowa Republicans have long-sought to defund Planned Parenthood as well as promote legislation restricting abortions.

Three of the Planned Parenthood health centers will close June 30.

Planned Parenthood insists that regardless of the closures, it will keep in front its clients, benefactors, and lawmakers. Not all of those clinics provided abortions, the main source of critics' opposition. "This is a victory for our state, and Iowans for Life is committed to continue working to see all abortion clinics closed in Iowa".

The clinic closures come after the state's Republican legislators worked to redirect Medicaid family-planning dollars away from abortion providers starting July 1.

Planned Parenthood's opponents felt it was worth it.

With Planned Parenthood's closings, there will be one fewer women's health clinic in the Quad Cities.

There are still several questions about how Iowa's new state-run program will work, said Jodi Tomlonovic, executive director of the Family Planning Council of Iowa.

Getyourcare.org, an interactive website that allows visitors to locate federally qualified healthcare centers in the entire country, shows that one such center - PMS-Totah Behavioral Health Authority at 1615 Ojo Court - exists in Farmington. Just this month a bill that cleared the U.S. House of Representatives includes a provision that blocks Planned Parenthood from receiving reimbursements for patient services through the Medicaid program.

And then the Trump-Pence administration ascended to power.

It doesn't mandate absurd regulations to clinics, which the Supreme Court determined to be wholly unconstitutional; instead, it mandates that abortion care is different, that performing it is wrong, and if providers want to be reimbursed by Medicaid, they can not perform them.

But public health experts are skeptical.

According to Phillips, the Wyoming Planned Parenthood Clinic did not receive state funding and was mostly supported through donations and grants. "It displays, to my mind, an astounding ignorance of how the health system works", Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health policy at George Washington University, told the Guardian.

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