Issues

When Planned Parenthood closes, women find real health care at hundreds of other clinics

Following a trend of facility closures, Planned Parenthood closed its Stroudsburg location in eastern Pennsylvania on August 31. This marks the fifth facility that the abortion giant has closed in Pennsylvania since last fall, and all while still receiving taxpayer funding.

Mayor Tarah Probst, a supporter of Planned Parenthood, told PA Homepage that 4,000 people turned to the facility last year. While Planned Parenthood and its supporters have been known to blame the organization’s failures and closings on those who would rather see Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer dollars routed to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), these centers outnumber Planned Parenthood in Pennsylvania and across the nation, serving far more patients. Aside from this, its difficult to blame a lack of taxpayer dollars when no such law defunding Planned Parenthood has yet been passed, either in Pennsylvania or federally.

A July statement from unnamed Planned Parenthood officials to WNEP, a local ABC news station, suggests that the Stroudsburg Planned Parenthood facility wasn’t needed after all:

This decision was not made lightly. It resulted from careful analysis of where our patients live and seek medical care as well as an assessment of how best to ensure the longevity and strength of existing health centers, in order to offer the highest level of patient care for years to come.

The facility had already limited its hours at that location to one day a week, PA Homepage also reported.

The Pennsylvania Family Institute has been tracking Planned Parenthood closures in the state, noting that 11 other Planned Parenthood locations have closed since 2013, and only one of those committed abortions. That location was the Easton facility, which reportedly had “the lowest abortion count of all Planned Parenthood facilities covering abortions.”

It has long been reported that Planned Parenthood is closing its own facilities, and most of these are non-abortion facilities. The organization announced several years ago its plans to consolidate and to require each affiliate to provide abortions.

When it comes to these other closures, it’s again about numbers, according to the Pennsylvania Family Institute:

Since 2013, the Southeastern region has closed three facilities while Planned Parenthood Keystone – who say they cover 37 counties (which is over half of the state’s population) – has closed the other nine locations. That’s a 50% drop of Planned Parenthood Keystone’s facilities in under five years (18 facilities in 2013, now down to just nine).

More recent reporting from PA Homepage conveys a sense of public panic as Planned Parenthood supporters and former clients lamented where they would go for health care services. With the sense of despair, you’d think Planned Parenthood was the only place to go, which is not the case. In fact, non-abortion services have actually been on a long-time decline at Planned Parenthood. Since women clearly are going to Planned Parenthood less and less for actual health care, they must be getting it elsewhere.

According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, there were “40 FQHCs operating in 257 service sites and serving 680,017 individuals per year” in Pennsylvania for 2013. There were 38 Planned Parenthood locations in 2015.

A National Provider Identifier Database list accessed September 3, 2017, lists 334 FQHCs in the state. A list of centers, updated in January, is also available from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. FreeClinics.com lists 309 clinics in the state.

For those in the Stroudsburg area who are concerned with where to get healthcare now that Planned Parenthood closed its facility, there is good news. FreeClinics.com points to nearby facilities specific to East Stroudsburg, some of which are in New Jersey. For STD testing and free condoms, residents can turn to a Monroe County State Health Center, run by the state’s Department of Health Bureau of Community of Health Centers.

According to Pocono Info, which lists further services that the state health center provides, the “PA Department of Health has a local health center in each county.”

There are also multiple adjacent counties to Stroudsburg Monroe’s County, including:

  • Wayne County, where the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers lists 11 such health centers
  • Luzerene County, where the PACHC lists 5 such locations
  • Lackawanna County, where there are 4 locations listed

The local reporting, as well as reporting from the Daily Caller, noted how Planned Parenthood has yet to release a statement on the Stroudsburg closing (another closing being business as usual in Pennsylvania for the abortion corporation). But the abortion giant doesn’t always stay this silent on its closings, especially when it can use a closing as publicity in an attempt to derail federal or state efforts to defund it, even when there are a host of other facilities that can absorb those patients.

Make no mistake, women do not need Planned Parenthood, in Pennsylvania, or anywhere else.

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