Planned Parenthood to close 4 Iowa clinics after funding cut
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland announced Thursday that is it closing four clinics in Iowa, including the facility in Bettendorf.
Planned Parenthood has shut down clinics in New Mexico and Wyoming recently as well. Women living in the 13 percent of USA counties with at least one Planned Parenthood but no contraceptive-providing FQHCs at all would have to travel unnecessarily long distances just to get basic care, burdening other communities' health centers with surges of new patients.
A spokesman couldn't be immediately reached for comment.
The Sioux City, Burlington and Keokuk clinics will close in June, while the Burlington clinic will close down a little later, reports the Washington Examiner.
This story will be updated.
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.
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.
Iowa faced tough budgeting decisions this year, and the costly new program was approved as a GOP priority despite criticism from Democrats that it would happen during statewide budgeting constraints and drastic agency cuts.
In 26 percent of the 415 USA counties with Planned Parenthoods, the current contraceptive-providing FQHCs would have to sextouple their contraceptive client load to account for the patients Planned Parenthood could no longer serve. The waiting period has been temporarily halted amid a legal challenge.
Planned Parenthood is planning to sell the building now housing the soon-to-be-closed Albuquerque Nob Hill clinic and use that money to build a "flagship family planning center" in the city sometime in the near future. In the process, both states gave up millions of dollars of federal funding and set up their own state-run family planning programs. A state report in 2015 found that almost 30,000 fewer women received birth control, cancer screenings and other care as a result.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad testifies before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be US ambassador to China at Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., USA on May 2, 2017. He prioritized the defunding move during his final session in office. Instead, the state is cutting off funding for family planning services such as STI testing and contraception provision.
Torres said that clients of the Farmington clinic, the only Planned Parenthood clinic north of Santa Fe, can access other Planned Parenthood clinics in southern Colorado, including in Durango and Cortez, at which New Mexico Medicaid is accepted.