The abortion chain Planned Parenthood announced plans Thursday to close four Iowa clinics as a result of a new state law that defunds it.
At the end of June, Planned Parenthood facilities in Burlington, Keokuk and Sioux City, Iowa will close; and a fourth in Quad City will close when the building is sold, Iowa Public Radio reports. Three of the facilities did abortions.
Eight other Planned Parenthood facilities will remain open in Iowa, according to the Des Moines Register.
“This is good news for families in the state of Iowa,” said Iowans For Life Director Maggie DeWitte. “We worked hard this last session to educate legislators and the general public that 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.”
The abortion group claims the closures will hurt minorities, young adults, low-income families and people in rural areas. One abortion supporter even told the Register that she thinks abortions will go up because the four Planned Parenthoods are closing.
Jenifer Bowen of Iowa Right to Life refuted this, saying, “The reallocation of our tax dollars, away from the abortion industry, and into the hands of true health care facilities will only empower more Iowa women.”
The tax money that used to go to Planned Parenthoods in Iowa now will be given to community health clinics that offer comprehensive health care but not abortions. In contrast to the 12 (soon to be eight) Planned Parenthood facilities, there are 221 community health clinics in Iowa, according to local news reports. These facilities will be able to expand services to low-income, minority and other patients with the funding increase.
Planned Parenthood said the four facilities saw about 14,600 patients in the past three years.
Here’s more from the Register:
Planned Parenthood said it is proceeding with the closures because of the loss of about $2 million in public funding under the state legislation.
Gov. Terry Branstad signed a $1.7 billion health and human services appropriations bill last week that calls for the Iowa Department of Human Services to discontinue the federal Medicaid family planning network waiver, foregoing about $3 million in federal funding. Instead, the state will use about $3.3 million to recreate its own family planning network so that it can prohibit the funding of clinics that provide abortions.
Bowen continued: “Planned Parenthood’s CEO is claiming that ‘defunding Planned Parenthood will set a health care crisis in motion in Iowa.’ Truly their arrogance knows no bounds. Planned Parenthood is NOT a ‘health care’ provider. They primarily provide services related to abortion. … we are pleased to see Iowa rapidly returning to a state where women and their unborn children are safe from the shrinking abortion giant.”
At least eight other Planned Parenthoods across the country also have closed or plan to close this year, according to LifeNews’s tally. These include three in New Mexico, two in Pennsylvania, one in Wyoming and one in Maryland. The Rocky Mountains affiliate told the AP of plans to close at least one more facility, but it did not specify which one.
Except in Iowa, Planned Parenthood officials said state and federal defunding efforts were not the reasons for the closures. Many mentioned patient numbers and finances as reasons.
The effort to defund abortion groups comes in response to a series of undercover videos showing the Planned Parenthood abortion business selling aborted babies’ body parts. Since the undercover videos revealed shocking and potentially illegal activity at Planned Parenthood, state and federal lawmakers have introduced measures to end taxpayer funding to it and other abortion groups.
Planned Parenthood aborts more than 300,000 unborn babies every single year. It is the largest abortion provider in the United States, and it receives nearly half a billion taxpayer dollars annually from the federal government.
Earlier this year, Planned Parenthood leaders refused an offer to receive an increase in taxpayer funding if the group stopped doing abortions. CEO Cecile Richards called the offer “obscene and insulting,” making it very clear that abortion – not women’s health care – is essential to Planned Parenthood.
The abortion group’s annual reports show patient numbers and non-abortion health care services have been dropping in the past few years while its abortion numbers remain steady. Out of character, Planned Parenthood has not released its annual report yet for 2016. It typically releases the report in January.