By Cassy Fiano-Chesser
Planned Parenthood is planning to close three facilities in Iowa, with a plan to consolidate abortions at other facilities.
According to the Associated Press (AP), Planned Parenthood North Central States said it has committed 9% more abortions since Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was decided last year, overturning Roe v. Wade. Yet staff shortages have allegedly led to the facility closures.
“The shifting legal sands make it hard for patients to keep up, and that creates a chilling effect to accessing health care,” Ruth Richardson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States, told the AP. “This new landscape is unfair — but in all honesty, it’s been unfair for quite some time for structurally marginalized communities.”
Though some facilities are closing, they will be redirecting staff to other facilities, allowing the number of abortions they commit to increase even more. The facilities remaining open will be in Ames, Cedar Rapids, and Des Moines, and in Omaha, Nebraska. “I must emphasize that, while the number of Planned Parenthood health centers will decrease, these changes will increase the number of patients that we can see,” spokesperson Mazie Stilwell said.
Earlier this month, the Iowa Supreme Court issued a ruling keeping the state’s heartbeat law blocked. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill banning abortions after detectable heartbeat in 2018, which contained exceptions for rape and incest. It was struck down in 2019, first by a district judge and then by the Iowa Supreme Court, which Reynolds appealed.
The most recent ruling upheld the previous decision to keep the law protecting preborn children blocked, meaning abortions can continue being committed there.
Still, there is the possibility of a new law being introduced; the Iowa Supreme Court reportedly refused to ‘legislate from the bench’, but nothing prevents lawmakers from enacting a new, identical, law. Reynolds said at that time that lawmakers would continue fighting to protect life in Iowa.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.