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Planned Parenthood closes four Iowa clinics | Political News

BETTENDORF — A wall within the Planned Parenthood Bettendorf clinic is lined with handwritten notes. They’re from sufferers and supporters — thanking the clinic’s employees for the work they’ve executed.

Some are colourful. Some are a number of paragraphs lengthy. Others simply merely learn “love your kindness” and “thank you for serving women.”

But the notes are also a bittersweet reminder to staff of the individuals they’ll not have the ability to assist.

The clinic, together with three different Planned Parenthood places — in Sioux City, Burlington and Keokuk — stopped providers July 1.

The Quad-Cities clinic will proceed telemedicine abortion providers till the top of the yr or the constructing is bought.

The closures come after Iowa’s Republican-controlled Legislature shifted household planning funding away from the group and others that carry out abortions in the course of the 2017 session.

The state has determined to forgo federal dollars to cowl providers reminiscent of contraception, sexually transmitted an infection testing and Pap smears for low-income Iowans. Instead, it’s utilizing $three million of state cash for the same program that excludes abortion suppliers. No federal or state dollars are used to pay for abortions.

That transfer hit Planned Parenthood of the Heartland onerous — taking an almost $2 million chunk out of its finances. The women’s health group introduced in mid-May it will shut one-third of its Iowa clinics, affecting greater than 14,600 sufferers.

“It’s just so frustrating to think that we can’t be a provider here anymore,” stated Angela Rodriguez-Finch, the clinic director for six years. Rodriguez-Finch spoke from her workplace Monday, 5 days earlier than the power would shut. “It’s not (whether the care is) good enough or not good enough — what it is, is, ‘I don’t like that entity.’”

Her feelings swing like a pendulum. She is indignant and unhappy and fearful for her sufferers. She stated she doesn’t perceive why different group suppliers are capable of proceed collaborating within the household planning community however Planned Parenthood just isn’t.

“It’s like a witch hunt — ‘I’m going after that organization. I don’t care what good they do, and I don’t care about the impact on the communities they serve. It doesn’t matter,’” she stated.

The availability of efficient contraception has a direct correlation with nationwide tendencies that present a decline in unintended pregnancies and abortions.

In 2014, the abortion fee fell to its lowest quantity since Roe v Wade was determined in 1973, in accordance with a January research by Guttmacher Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based coverage and analysis group that focuses on reproductive health. The variety of abortions in Iowa dropped 23 % between 2011 and 2014, from 5,640 — or at a price of 9.7 per 1,000 women — to four,380 — or 7.5 per 1,000 women.

Democratic state legislators and household planning specialists have stated because the begin of the defunding debate in Iowa they’re involved about women’s capability — particularly these women who’re low-income — to obtain sufficient entry to contraception if any Planned Parenthoods have been to shut.

“I am opposed to abortion and therefore in favor of access to birth control,” stated Mark Anderson, a pastor and chairman of the Iowa Council on Human Services, through the group’s most up-to-date June assembly.

Iowa’s Department of Human Services — which can administer the brand new state-funded household planning community — will acquire knowledge relating to entry to providers and suppliers for the primary six months of this system. It plans to current these findings to legislators in January in addition to the Council on Human Services, DHS’s oversight council.

“When it comes to family planning, people don’t think of it as an urgent need,” stated Planned Parenthood’s Rodriguez-Finch. “But it really is. If you are a young person in your reproductive years and you want to get birth control, and you have to wait a month or six weeks to be seen — you know sexual activity is going to happen. … It does matter. It really does, and it will have an impact on all of us.”

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