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Planned Parenthood closes three centers in Washington State

Whatever the reason, Planned Parenthood has permanently closed these three centers—and that is good news.

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands has closed three of its medical centers in the state of Washington. Its Kent and Shelton locations closed as well as its First Hill Center at 1229 Madison Street in Seattle. All three centers committed surgical and/or pill abortions.

News reports of the closures say that Planned Parenthood is blaming “low reimbursement rates from the state Medicaid program” as the reason for the closures. Planned Parenthood told reporters that it is “hoping the Legislature will take action in the coming weeks to increase the state’s Medicaid reimbursement rates for family planning services.” If lawmakers do not do so, Planned Parenthood said as many as six of its other clinics across the state are at risk of closure. Planned Parenthood began 2021 with 33 centers in the state.

All three of these locations are “permanently closed” according to Planned Parenthood’s website. There is some indication that Planned Parenthood’s closure of the three centers may have been politically motivated. There is currently a struggle in the state legislature over family planning reimbursement rates. Governor Jay Inslee has proposed an increase but is meeting resistance. State Rep. Nicole Macri (D-Seattle) is working to ensure the Legislature includes the rate increase for family planning clinics in the state’s new two-year budget. She told reporters “the pattern in the Legislature is to adjust Medicaid rates only when there is some sort of crisis, such as a loss of providers that cuts access to certain services in broad areas of the state. She said the recent closures of the Planned Parenthood health centers show that money for family planning services has reached that kind of crisis point.” 

Whatever the reason, Planned Parenthood has permanently closed these three centersand that is good news. 

SOURCE: STOPP. Published with permission.

PHOTO CREDIT: Al843

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