Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is closing its Appleton abortion clinic, leaving the state with only three other centers that offer abortions.
In a statement from Teri Huyck, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, the clinic is closing because it does not meet the security measures needed to protect the health and safety of women and families. The remaining abortion clinics are in Madison and Milwaukee. Two of those clinics are operated through Planned Parenthood while the other is operated through Affiliated Medical Services.
After the attack on a Planned Parenthood health center in Colorado Springs last November, Planned Parenthood reviewed all facilities to determine the security standards in place at each location, Mel Barnes, legal and policy associate for Planned Parenthood Wisconsin, said.
After the assessment, Planned Parenthood concluded the Appleton facility could not be upgraded to the level needed to ensure safety in a “post-Colorado Springs world,” Barnes said.
In a statement from Heather Weininger, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life, the organization is celebrating the closure of the clinic.
“We are absolutely thrilled that unborn children will no longer lose their lives at this abortion facility,” Weininger said.
Weininger said more women are choosing life in Wisconsin, which has led to the clinic not making enough profits and closing down.
But Barnes said the closure of the Appleton clinic further restricts women’s access to health care, since women in the community have to travel to the Madison and Milwaukee clinics to receive the care they need.
“It is always a loss when women can’t access the full array of reproductive health care in the community that they live in,” Barnes said.
Currently, there are no plans to replace the clinic, but Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is searching for ways to partner with other health providers and local legislators to expand access to care in Wisconsin, Barnes said.
Despite having one less clinic, the ultimate goal of Planned Parenthood is to provide abortion access as well as other services to women all across the state of Wisconsin, Barnes said.
“We take our commitment to serving women across the state very seriously,” Barnes said.
The Appleton Family Planning Center remains open and women can receive reproductive health services such as birth control, annual exams and STD testing at that location.
According to The Capital Times, the Appleton Planned Parenthood clinic is the sixth in the state to close since Gov. Scott Walker cut funding to the organization in 2011.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the number of abortion clinics left in Wisconsin. The Badger Herald regrets this error.