Planned Parenthood Shutters Two Clinics in Iowa

Barbara Boland
By Barbara Boland | June 6, 2014 | 1:06 PM EDT

Planned Parenthood is closing two clinics in Iowa, the DesMoines Register announced yesterday. The clinics, in Red Oak and Creston, are among at least 11 clinics that have had to close in recent years.

Planned Parenthood is Iowa's largest abortion provider, and received $540.6 million last year in taxpayer funding.

In the past two years, Planned Parenthood has closed clinics in Ankeny, Fort Dodge, Mount Pleasant, Washington, Spencer, Fort Madison, Storm Lake, Knoxville and Newton.

Sue Thayer, a former Planned Parenthood clinic manager in Storm Lake who is now a leading Planned Parenthood opponent, told the DesMoines Register that Council Bluffs and Sioux City are now the only places in western Iowa where abortions are available. "I think it's good news for babies in Red Oak and Creston."

Abortion opponents hailed the news saying that it means fewer women will have abortion procedures or take abortion pills.

"The decision to close the health centers was based on an effort to eliminate inefficiency in resources - shifting the staff and equipment required for certain services from health centers where request for those services was low to areas where our patients are more densely located and availing themselves of our services," said Angie Remington, Planned Parenthood spokeswoman to the Register Wednesday.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland currently dispenses abortion pills via patients' phone consultation with doctors - but the Iowa Board of Medicine banned this practice last year. Planned Parenthood is now challenging that in court.

From the DesMoines Register:

The board's ruling is on hold during Planned Parenthood's legal appeal. A hearing in that case is set for June 16 in Polk County District Court.