Politics & Policy

Two Ohio Planned Parenthood Clinics to Close amid Funding Crunch

Sign on a Planned Parenthood building in New York in 2015. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Planned Parenthood announced Monday that two Ohio clinics will be closing this month due to stifling regulations and a loss of state and federal funding.

The two Cincinnati clinics, located in the Springdale and Western Hills neighborhoods, will close September 20, the organization said. Neither clinic performs abortions. Women in the greater Cincinnati and Miami Valley areas will still have access to five other Planned Parenthood locations after the two clinics shut their doors, and to 26 locations statewide.

Last month, Planned Parenthood announced that it would withdraw from Title X, the federal program that funds family-planning services for low-income Americans, after the Trump administration debuted a rule requiring “physical and financial separation” between abortion services and groups receiving funding from the program.

In April, Republican governor Mike DeWine signed into law Ohio’s “heartbeat bill,” which would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected at about four weeks of pregnancy if it went into effect. The law is currently on hold amid court challenges.

“These closures are the result of years of attacks on our ability to provide reproductive health care,” said Kersha Deibel, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region. “Ohio politicians have passed 22 anti-reproductive health measures in recent years, including a defunding bill that went into effect earlier this year. Then came the changes to the Title X program, from an administration that has made it clear that it wants to force out trusted health centers that provide evidence-based, comprehensive reproductive health care.”

“These layered attacks in a hostile environment forced us to make some really tough decisions,” Deibel added. “This is the world they want to see: one where women lose access to birth control, where information about how to access abortion is held hostage, and where, if you don’t have money, it’s almost impossible to access an STI test or a cancer screening.”

Pro-life groups have pushed back on the notion that the administration rule slashes access to family-planning services, saying it simply redirects funding to better service providers.

“The Protect Life Rule doesn’t cut a single dime from family planning. It instead directs tax dollars to Title X centers that do not promote or perform abortions” the Susan B. Anthony List said in a statement on the proposal last year.

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