Minnesota Planned Parenthood to Close Six Locations in August

State   Steven Ertelt   Jun 21, 2011   |   10:59AM    St. Paul, MN

The Minnesota affiliate of the Planned Parenthood abortion business says it will close six locations on August 1 thanks to the Title X budget cuts Congress approved in its most recent budget this past Spring.

Minnesota Planned Parenthood CEO Sarah Stoesz says locations in Thief River Falls, Brainerd, Red Wing, Owatonna, Albert Lea and Fairmont will be closing. None of them do abortions or give out the dangerous abortion drug to women, but all of them make abortion referrals.

She said the plan to cut the centers comes on the heels of a 5.5 percent cut to Title X funding during the 2011 congressional budget debate. The cut is retroactive to September of last year, and therefore represents an 11 percent cut to Planned Parenthood’s current budget.

“These cuts were driven by ideological attacks on women’s health, not by a desire to fix the economy,” she claimed.

“We proudly served these communities for 40 years, and the decision to close our doors is heartbreaking,” Stoesz said. “We know that both state and federal governments are struggling to balance their budgets, but we also know that public funding for family planning services is a cost-saving and vital service for tens of thousands of women in our state, especially in rural areas. This was a short-sighted blow to a much-needed program.”

The abortion business director said staff will be increased and evening and weekend hours will be added to Planned Parenthood clinics in Rochester, Mankato, Moorhead, Duluth and St. Cloud and the affiliate will continue to operate centers in 20 locations in Minnesota and South Dakota.

While Stoesz claims the Title X cuts are the reason for the closings, Bill Poehler, a spokesman for Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, the statewide pro-life group, told KFGO there are other federally funded health clinics, Community-Based Health Centers, that offer legitimate medical care to women without having to go to an abortion business.

Minnesota state legislators hoped to curb the number of abortions further in the state by passing legislation to stop taxpayer funding of abortions and to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, but pro-abortion Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed both bills.

“We are very disappointed that Gov. Dayton prevented these mainstream measures from becoming law in our state,” MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach told LifeNews. “These are reasonable provisions, not extreme, and have overwhelming support from Minnesotans and legislators.”

The legislation would have prohibited taxpayer funding of abortion. The Legislature passed such a ban in 1978, but it was overturned by Doe v. Gomez, a 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court ruling in which the Court established an absolute “right” to abortion in the state Constitution and required taxpayers to fund elective abortions for women on public assistance.

Since the Doe v. Gomez decision, taxpayers have paid more than $17 million to abort 54,802 unborn babies, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Minnesota taxpayers paid $1.5 million to the abortion industry for 3,754 abortions in 2008, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services’s latest figures.