Issues

Five Planned Parenthood locations in Vermont and New Hampshire to close

planned parenthood

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) has announced its plans to close five locations in Vermont and New Hampshire on June 12. A sixth location closed earlier this year.

The facilities scheduled to close include those in Bennington, Hyde Park, St. Albans, and Middlebury, Vermont, as well as Claremont, New Hampshire. PPNNE says the closures are permanent and it plans to increase the days of operation in seven of its other locations in Northern New England. The Hyde Park, St. Albans, Middlebury, and Claremont locations do not commit abortions but do refer for abortions at other locations, while the Bennington location distributes the abortion pill through in-person appointments and refers patients for other abortion procedures. The location in Newport, Vermont, closed in February.

Despite the fact that the FDA has only approved the abortion pill up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, Planned Parenthood offers it to women up to 11 weeks of pregnancy. This increases a woman’s risk of complications including incomplete abortion, infection, and hemorrhage, and the Bennington facility states on its website that it will only follow up with the patient “within 1-2 weeks” and only “if you’d like.”

READ: Vermont legalizes assisted suicide by Zoom or Skype, with no prior doctor-patient meeting

Unfortunately, the effects of the second pill of the abortion pill regimen can almost immediately cause horrific pain and excessive bleeding for women, often sending them to the emergency room long before their scheduled follow-up with Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood does admit that the abortion may not be completed and that women may need a surgical abortion.

Nicole Clegg, a spokesperson for PPNNE, told WCAX that the closures are to protect the abortion giant’s sustainability following staffing shortages. Kai Williams, senior vice president of PPNNE, explained to VT Digger, “Because of limited resources and the national crisis for reproductive health access, we’re reallocating our resources.”

PPNNE spokesperson Eileen Sullivan told VT Digger that the abortion corporation is facing challenges that are “complex and often linked to one another, including difficulty recruiting and retaining staff, low patient volume, facility needs, and financial sustainability.”

The decision to close multiple Vermont locations comes in the same year that the state is preparing for a vote on whether or not to make abortion a right in the state Constitution. Proposition 5 will add an amendment to the Vermont Constitution if voters approve it. The Vermont Senate and House already approved the measure in 2019. A second approval from both the Senate and House was required and the Senate approved Prop 5 for the second time in April 2021 with the House approving it for the second time in February.

Vermont requires free condoms to be available for middle school children, and the state does not have a single restriction on abortion. Seventy percent of Vermont voters say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. In November, they will vote on whether or not abortion should be a Constitutional right.

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