Despite enjoying a large spike in donations since certain events unfolded in November of last year, Planned Parenthood has announced that it’s shuttering ten of its centers across the Midwest and the Southwest. The closures are the result of a combination of factors, including aggressive anti-abortion state governments as well as practical considerations that won’t necessarily result in the loss of services for clients.
Let’s start with the less-bad news: Though Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains will close six clinics in Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico, the loss of these locations is due less to the country’s current leadership than the fact that many patients have access to other providers. According to the Washington Post:
One contributing factor was the health care law enacted under former president Barack Obama, which caused many existing clients who previously paid for their care out-of-pocket to qualify for Medicaid, which offers a lower reimbursement rate, officials said.
Though New Mexico will lose three of its six clinics, the sale of those buildings will help fund the expansion of an Albuquerque location that currently performs abortions but will soon include other services, the Albuquerque Journal reports.
As for Wyoming, Adrienne Mansanares, a leader of Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood, told Wyoming Public Media that though the state will lose its one and only Planned Parenthood, the majority of Wyoming patients already travel to a Colorado location, which will remain open.
“We are making some difficult but necessary changes and this is really so that we can continue to meet patients’ needs in both the short term and the long term,” she told the station. Meanwhile, the 500 clients who relied on the Wyoming location can receive care from other local providers, including the Community Health Center of Central Wyoming.
Other centers are being forced to cow to much darker circumstances. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland will close four clinics across Iowa on June 30, thanks to Gov. Terry Branstad making good on his word to sign a budget that cut the center’s essential funding. According to The Hill, the centers regularly served more than 14,000 people in the past three years. Now:
Branstad signed an appropriations bill last week that called for the state to discontinue the federal Medicaid family planning network waiver, foregoing about $3 million in federal funding.
The state will now create its own family planning network so it can prohibit funding to clinics that provide abortions.
Republicans have long pushed to “defund Planned Parenthood” for providing abortions, but federal law prevents taxpayer dollars from going to the procedure anyway.
House Republicans already successfully passed a health care bill that would defund Planned Parenthood by preventing it from receiving Medicaid reimbursements. It’s likely that the Senate’s version will include similar language.