Planned Parenthood Forced to Shut Down 4 Clinics in Iowa

Kristy Anderson testifying as a “Texas woman” in support of Planned Parenthood during a Texas Women’s Health Advisory Committee meeting in Austin on Monday

Groups that have pushed for the new policy say Medicaid patients who've been going to Planned Parenthood will be able to get prescriptions for contraceptives and reproductive health exams at other facilities in or near their communities.

It doesn't mandate absurd regulations to clinics, which the Supreme Court determined to be wholly unconstitutional; instead, it mandates that abortion care is different, that performing it is wrong, and if providers want to be reimbursed by Medicaid, they can not perform them. A loss of access to the injectable contraception from those clinics also resulted in a 27 percent increase in births, according to Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood of IN and Kentucky sued IN officials Thursday over a new law that makes it tougher for girls younger than 18 to get an abortion without their parents' knowledge, arguing that it creates "an unconstitutional undue burden on unemancipated minors".

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The clinic closures come at a crucial time for women seeking access to reproductive health care in the US, and particularly in Iowa. By 2013, the number of women receiving birth control, cancer screenings, and other essential health care dropped by almost 30,000.

The health centers slated for closing are in Sioux City, Bettendorf, Burlington and Keokuk.

The state's challenge Thursday to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals came a day after U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs refused to delay enforcing the preliminary injunction he issued last month in favor of Planned Parenthood affiliates with Missouri health centers. Losing the clinic represents both a symbolic defeat for women's health and an upheaval for patients that require Planned Parenthood's services in the state. "But the more important number is 14,676, the number of patients these health centers have served in the past three years".

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Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has served women and men of all ages since the mid-1930s in Iowa and Nebraska, according to their website.

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.

"Planned Parenthood claims abortion is a 'women's right, ' but this rhetoric forgets we're talking about young, minor girls", said Mike Fichter, president and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. They're hoping to offer abortion services there by this summer and are preparing to submit related applications to the state for the Joplin and Springfield sites. Participants will automatically be transferred to the new state-run program, which covers the same services as long as they are not sought at a clinic offering abortions.

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