Planned Parenthood Closes Four Abortion Referral Clinics

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 19, 2011   |   12:25PM   |   Washington, DC

Citing the economic downturn and a decrease in taxpayer funding, Planned Parenthood officials closed four abortion referral clinics in two states, giving pro-life advocates an early Christmas gift.

The Planned Parenthood center at 137 S. Pugh St in State College, Pennsylvania, home to Penn State University, will close tomorrow after operating for more than a decade. A press release from Planned Parenthood of Northeast and Mid-Penn indicated it came about because of the economic climate.

“The decision to close is a difficult one, and one that we regret having to make,” said president and CEO Kim Custer. “The combination of reduced reimbursements for services and increased costs has made it impossible for Planned Parenthood to sustain the services in this location.”

The center did not do abortions but referred students and others in the city for them. One employee at the center took another Planned Parenthood position while a second left the abortion business to find employment elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Kristen Glundberg-Prossor, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, says the Washington state-based abortion  business will close its center in Silverdale because of less taxpayer funding from the federal government and the recession in the state. Planned Parenthood centers in Oak Harbor and Forks will close as well.

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest (PPGNW) will be closing its Forks health center located at 231 Lupine Avenue, effective December 31. Also, PPGNW will be downsizing operations in Sitka, Alaska. The Forks closure will impact 71 patients who will be referred to the Planned Parenthood health center in Port Angeles.

“It’s been a tough year, and we have lost state funding over the past several years,” Glundberg-Prossor told the Kitsap Sun newspaper. “It’s always very unfortunate to have to close centers, because their mission is really important.”

She said the center saw nearly 1,500 people annually and, although it did not perform abortions, all Planned Parenthood centers make abortion referrals. Four of the Silverdale employees now work in Planned Parenthood positions in Bremerton and Tacoma and there was no word on the fifth.

“We don’t want any of our patients to fall through the cracks and we will work with them to transition their care to our Bremerton health center,” said Chris Charbonneau, president of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest.

He added:  “The decision to close these particular health centers was not made lightly. Throughout this economic downturn, it was previously possible for PPGNW’s larger health centers to subsidize the smaller locations. Now, with additional loss of state and federal funding and increased eligibility requirements for family planning programs, fewer patients can access services. PPGNW is deeply saddened that federal family planning restrictions and inadequate state funding have contributed to the closure of these health centers. In this harsh economy, PPGNW can no longer sustain operations in Forks.”

The abortion business operates 30 facilities in Washington, Alaska and Idaho and larger centers had subsidized the smaller ones but the economy and decrease in taxpayer funding have made it more difficult.