Sioux City, Iowa — The Planned Parenthood clinic in Sioux City is closing, citing a lack of state funding.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is closing four of its clinics in Iowa because of a new state policy approved by the Republican-led legislature and Governor Branstad. June 30th is the closing date for the Sioux City Planned Parenthood clinic, and clinics in Burlington, and Keokuk. Another clinic in Bettendorf will close “in a matter of months.” Suzanna de Baca, the president of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, says after June 30th, organizations that provide abortions will no longer be reimbursed for family planning services provided to Medicaid patients.
About 30 staffers who’ve worked in the four clinics will be laid off.
Tax dollars have not been spent on abortions for years, even on medically-necessary abortions for indigent patients. Backers of the move to completely “defund” Planned Parenthood say tax dollars should not go to any facility where abortions are performed. De Baca calls the new policy an “extremist” attack that will harm “an untold number of Iowans.”
Those that have pushed for the new policy, such as State Senator Randy Feenstra from Hull, say Medicaid patients who’ve been going to Planned Parenthood will be able to get prescriptions for contraceptives and reproductive health exams at other facilities in or near their communities.
Feenstra says he finds the reasoning behind the Planned Parenthood closings “interesting.”
He says as legislators, they have to ask some important questions.
Planned Parenthood will continue to operate eight clinics in Iowa. They’re located in Ames, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Iowa City and in the Des Moines metro.