Planned Parenthood and Women’s Clinics Close Due to Budget Cuts

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June 20, 2011; Source: Star Tribune | Planned Parenthood is closing six clinics in Minnesota. The reason is an 11 percent reduction in its budget attributed to Congressional hacking at the Title X program. The Planned Parenthood clinics to close – in Thief River Falls, Brainerd, Red Wing Owatonna, Albert Lea, and Fairmont – “did not perform abortions,” according the AP report, “but provided services ranging from contraception to cervical cancer screen for sexually transmitted diseases.” An irony is that Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann was among the leaders to call for ending all Title X funding.

Taking a cue from the feds, the state of Indiana has been enforcing a ban on the use of Medicaid funds going to Planned Parenthood. As a result, Planned Parenthood in Indianapolis finally had to succumb and said it would no longer take Medicaid patients. Planned Parenthood had continued services to Medicaid patients after the state’s May 10 cutoff with the help of a $100,000 private grant, but that’s now used up, so 9,300 Medicaid patients will lose their access to family planning services. Indiana’s “social issue truce” governor, Republican Mitch Daniels, promised that Medicaid patients deprived of family planning services from Planned Parenthood would still get services elsewhere, though the mechanics for that were not clear in these articles.

Other states are taking the Indiana cue, such as North Carolina, whose legislature overrode Governor Bev Perdue’s veto of a state budget that would have denied Planned Parenthood state or federal funding.

For those who don’t know, Title X is part of the Public Health Service Act of 1970, providing family planning services to 5 million low income or uninsured women and men through a network of 4,500 community-based clinics. By law, Title X funds can’t be used for abortions as part of family planning services. But that didn’t stop abortion opponents in Congress from cutting $300 million from Title X in the FY2011 budget, the compromise budget negotiated between President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Reid, and House Speaker Boehner.

Is it any wonder that some women think that the conservatives’ attack on federal funding for Planned Parenthood – which cannot by law be used for abortion services – might appear like an attack on lower income women’s family planning and contraceptive needs?—Rick Cohen

  • Kevin

    One of the places that Gov. Daniels of Indiana and his party have cited as women’s healthcare providers left in the start is the women’s prison system. This issue irritates me to no end, primarily because of the lack of logic behind the decision and the obvious lack of concern for the actual effects of the policy.

    The new restrictions for medicaid, specifically excluded hospitals which are the primary providers of abortion in the state of Indiana, and did nothing to stop Planned Parenthood from continuing abortion services because those services are already funded by private donations and can’t be supported by federal programs by law. Furthermore, the decision will cost Indiana an estimated 4 million in healthcare grants. It rings of stupidity and blind partisanship. Then again, this is what you get when the electorate votes for a radicalized party whose public policy decisions are based more on some twisted fantasy than reality. The voters deserve precisely what they voted for. I honestly can’t decide who is more disgusting between the radicalized officials or voters who enable them.