Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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New abortion clinic planned for Madison

Planned Parenthood of Madison is formulating plans for a new abortion clinic in Madison.

Planned Parenthood will own and operate a new clinic to replace the Madison Abortion Clinic, 309 W. Washington Ave, after its lease expires in 2003. Meriter Hospital owns the W. Washington property, and hospital officials decided not to renew the abortion clinic’s lease due to economic reasons in 2000.

The site of the new $1.1 million reproductive-health center is yet to be determined, but regional director of Planned Parenthood Deborah Hobbins said the site will cater to women who need the clinic the most.

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“Our mission is to be in a neighborhood of unmet need,” Hobbins said.

She said they have received a $350,000 grant from a foundation that wished to remain anonymous as well as money from private donors to launch the clinic’s funding.

“We are already over halfway to $1.1 million,” Hobbins said.

The new clinic will provide comprehensive women’s health care, including breast-cancer screening, sexually transmitted-infection tests and a residency-training program for medical workers seeking further education.

“People love that it’s comprehensive,” Hobbins said. “We’ve had an outpouring of support.”

State director of Pro-Life Wisconsin Peggy Hamill is not among those who support the new clinic.

“We’re very much opposed to it,” Hamill said. “We will work strongly to make sure the people of Madison do not allow it.”

Hamill said Pro-Life Wisconsin will educate Madison residents about the humanity of baby fetuses and expose all of the negative side effects of abortion. Pro-Life Wisconsin supporters have picketed and prayed outside Meriter hospital frequently since the clinic’s opening in 1997.

Rachel Abbott, student chairperson of Voices for Planned Parenthood, worked in the Planned Parenthood office last summer and said she was surprised at the lack of opposition to the new clinic.

“I expected protests, but there were none,” Abbott said. She said women should appreciate the privilege of abortion rights in America, and women should have better access to abortion facilities in Madison.

Molli Mitchell of the UW student pro-life organization Lifewise Care-Net Center, said there are cases where women would need abortions but said she supports women who choose life.

“It’s an overwhelming thing, and women need counseling on all options and many different levels,” Mitchell said. “But there is no condom for the heart.”

Anne Gaylor, administrator of the Women’s Medical Fund, Inc., an organization that provides money for women who need abortions, said although there are only five abortion clinics in Wisconsin, the need for abortions has dropped due to more single mothers and widespread contraceptive use.

“I just wish more doctors would offer abortions as part of their practice,” Gaylor said.

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