Planned Parenthood's abortion services expected to spike in Madison

Published: Aug. 22, 2016 at 5:20 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) --- Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin will not be reopening its abortion clinic in Appleton. The clinic suspended operations last year.

Officials say they reviewed security in the wake of an attack on a Colorado Springs clinic and decided they could not meet security standards.

They say the closure is a loss for women in the northern and central parts of the state.

Women will still be able to receive abortion services at clinics in Madison and Milwaukee.

With a limited number of clinics to go to, now women only have two options if they wish to terminate their pregnancy.

"That makes it really difficult for any patient who does not live in Madison or Milwaukee," Nicole Safar, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin director of government relations, says.

She says the wait for women to get an abortion is about to get even longer because of the closure, but the process already takes a while. State mandates like the 24 hour waiting period, consent and ultrasound require women to make multiple appointments.

"Because abortion access is so restricted and there are so few providers offering the service, there is great need and many women even with the current facilities are having to go somewhere else," she explains.

But opposers with Wisconsin Right to Life say this just means that less people are having abortions.

"Our ultimate goal is to make abortion unthinkable, so the closure of an abortion facility like this signals to us that more and more women are choosing life," Chelsea Shields, Wisconsin Right to Life legislative impact director, says.

And although there's no long-term plan for Planned Parenthood to expand their abortion services at the moment, Safar says they are always looking for ways to help Wisconsin women.

"We will continue to look at solutions to that problem and to see how we can play our part to make sure that any woman who decides that she would need a safe abortion is able to get one," she says.

The closure of the Appleton abortion facility won't affect other reproductive services that Planned Parenthood provides for women.