By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., NRL-ETF Director of Education & Research
About four years ago, I first wrote about the new mega-clinics that Planned Parenthood is opening all across the country. These massive structures feature designer furniture and decorator colors, but they offer the same deadly product–abortion.
The two-fold difference is that with huge amounts of floor space, giant waiting rooms, multiple exam and recovery rooms, (1) they can process a lot more patients–and kill a lot more babies—each and every day, and (2) make lots and lots and lots more money.
Planned Parenthood of Columbia and the Willamette Valley opened up their giant mega-clinic in Portland, Oregon in February 2010 . Now Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon, their neighbor affiliate to the south has announced plans for a new 19,000 square foot facility for Springfield, Oregon, slated to open in the winter of 2012, according to an April 2, 2011, report in the Eugene Register-Guard written by Susan Palmer. The new building will quadruple the size of the current Eugene clinic.
The new mega-clinic will replace the affiliate’s clinic in Eugene, which had begun offering chemical abortions in the last year or so, another office which had housed administrative and educational offices, as well as the center the affiliate had a few miles away in Springfield. The three offices had been within about 4 miles of each other.
Like the new mega-center in Portland, this new clinic is part of a neighborhood revitalization project [!], a 1.4 acre lot surrounded by a chain link fence that is along a riverfront area city planners are hoping to populate with offices, apartments, condos, shops and restaurants. Planned Parenthood said that it got a good deal on the land. It paid just $600,000 for a location that near the University of Oregon and a community college. It also happens to be close to the interstate and has a bus stop out front.
This accessibility is crucial. The new clinic will reach out to two different clientele: students from the nearby colleges and upscale suburbanites who can access the clinic from the interstate, and lower income clients in the area who can reach them by public transportation.
Planned Parenthood expects construction costs to be around $8.5 million and has applied for a federal Community Development Block Grant to help cover the cost of its storm water drainage system, part of the environmental friendly design it has planned, according to the Register-Guard reports. A community development advisory committee has already given initial approval to the $125,000 request, and the city council was scheduled to vote on that recommendation at its April 18 meeting.
To those who have followed the stories of the clinic in Portland and other Planned Parenthood megaclinics going up around the country, many features of this story will sound familiar.
First, Planned Parenthood will be accentuating the “green” features of the planned building, a ground source heating and cooling system, skylights and an interior lighting system with sensors to increase or dim the light based on the amount of available daylight, the Register Guard reports. This is part of PPFA’s own attempted “extreme makeover.” As I wrote last year, “New megaclinics like the one in Portland help burnish the image of the organization as modern, vibrant, hip, professional.”
Second, in search of still more profits older clinics are being closed and consolidated. The current Eugene clinic is only about 4,600 square feet, while the new megaclinic will be offer about four times the space.
Third, current clinics in the area “serve” about 26,500 clients a year, with some patients having to wait a day or two longer than normal to see a doctor. With more facilities there will be less—or no—wait. A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood told the Register Guard that its new headquarters should be large enough to handle 20 years of “growth.”
Fourth, the new mega-center will, of course, be offering abortions, chemical, for now, with referrals for those who want surgical abortions. It does not take a lot of imagination to conclude that Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon will someday perform surgical abortions.
Fifth, the additional space is available not just for Planned Parenthood’s administrative and educational activities, but, if patterns from elsewhere hold, for political and promotional activity as well.
All this, not only with the local government’s blessing, but quite possibly taxpayer support in the form of federal block grants as Planned Parenthood helps to “revitalize” the community.
This is the third megaclinic announced by Planned Parenthood in the last year, and one of over twenty clinics of 10,000 square feet or more the national abortion giant has built or planned in the last seven years.
All of this construction and consolidation is of a piece: to modernize the aging abortion giant, attract new customers, and grow PPFA to where the organization—already the largest abortion provider in the United States–has a stranglehold, if not near-monopoly.