Four Planned Parenthood clinics to close in Iowa after defunding

Four Planned Parenthood clinics to close in Iowa after defunding
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Four Planned Parenthood clinics in Iowa will close this summer after Republican Gov. Terry Branstad signed a law essentially defunding abortion providers. 

The four centers, set to shutter June 30, regularly served more than 14,000 people in the past three years, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland said on Twitter Thursday. 

Branstad signed an appropriations bill last week that called for the state to discontinue the federal Medicaid family planning network waiver, foregoing about $3 million in federal funding. 

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The state will now create its own family planning network so it can prohibit funding to clinics that provide abortions. 

Republicans have long pushed to "defund Planned Parenthood" for providing abortions, but federal law prevents taxpayer dollars from going to the procedure anyway. 

House Republicans passed a healthcare reform bill earlier this month that also would defund Planned Parenthood by preventing the organization from receiving Medicaid reimbursements for one year. 

It's likely the Senate will also include defunding language in its healthcare bill. 

Suzanna de Baca, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, said in a statement the closures could have devastating consequences. 

“This is a case of extreme Iowa politicians deciding they know what’s better for a woman’s health than the women actually seeking care, with devastating consequences," she said.

"We will do everything we can to continue to care for as many patients as we can. However, the harsh reality is that, despite all our efforts, there will be women who fall through the cracks and lose access to health care because of this dangerous legislation.”

Anti-abortion advocates celebrated the news Thursday. 

"The reallocation of our tax dollars, away from the abortion industry, and into the hands of true healthcare facilities will only empower more Iowa women," Iowa Right to Life spokeswoman Jennifer Bowen said in a statement. 

Updated at 2:05 p.m.