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Jackson, Wyoming’s only abortion clinic to close December 15

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After 30 years of providing abortion services, the Women’s Health and Family Care clinic, located in Jackson, Wyoming, is permanently closing its doors on 15 December.

According to a report by Hanna Merzbach for KHOL radio, a sign displayed on the premises attributes the closure to the rising costs, particularly rent.

The financial viability of the private practice is being compromised by the rising costs of overheads, including rent, labour and supplies. “We have had the privilege of serving the community for over 30 years and intend to continue doing so, albeit at different locations.”

According to the latest data from the State health authority, 98 abortions were performed in 2021, while 91 were carried out in 2020.

The date of 15 December marks the day on which Judge Melissa Owens will consider Wyoming’s appeal to uphold the state’s Life Is A Human Right Act, which prohibits abortion except in cases of rape or incest or to save a woman’s life. In March, Judge Owens issued a preliminary injunction preventing the law from taking effect.

Office Manager Tulsa Versey informed Merzbach that the cost of renting the clinic had been increasing annually. The Office Manager, Tulsa Versey, was unable to provide figures for the increase in wages or the availability of supplies. However, she did confirm that the rent had risen by approximately $1,100, from $8,300 to $9,400, in the spring of this year.

A brief aside from Merzbach contextualised the closing within a broader perspective.

The closing of private clinics is a nationwide trend. According to a report by the American Medical Association, the proportion of doctors working in private practice will fall by 13 per cent between 2012 and 2022, largely due to financial reasons.

The immediate context is the situation of Dr. Mary Girling, who ceased to provide medical services to patients in June, and whose office is situated in the same building. The exorbitant cost of housing in the region renders it unaffordable even for doctors.

With regard to the matter of rent, the clinic leases its office space from its neighbour, St. John’s Health.

Karen Connelly, chief communications officer at St John’s, said the hospital is required by law to charge its tenants “fair market value”.

“Unfortunately in Jackson sometimes it’s like chasing your tail,” Connelly said. “Those fair market values have gone up, just like all of our rents, for the apartments we rent, our property taxes.”

Connelly observed that the financial viability of independent providers is becoming increasingly challenging, particularly in locations with high living costs.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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