An anti-abortion bill passed by the Iowa Legislature last week had an immediate impact on Planned Parenthood, with the women's healthcare and abortion service provider announcing that it would be shutting down four of its clinics in the state.
Republican Gov. Terry Branstad signed a $1.7-billion health and human services appropriations bill last week that calls for the Iowa Department of Human Services to block the release of $2 million in public money for family planning services to abortion service providers, The Des Moines Register reported.
Iowa lawmakers earlier passed House File 653 in April, which directs the state to create its own family planning fund, estimated at $3.1 million, as opposed to using Medicaid for such purposes, according to Christian News Network.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland said Thursday that with the closure of its four clinics, only eight health centers will remain open in Iowa.
Groups opposed to abortion welcomed Planned Parenthood's announcement.
"I would say this is fantastic news for women and families in the state of Iowa," said Maggie DeWitte, executive director of Iowans for Life.
"We would say the services and care provided by Planned Parenthood in the state of Iowa were not what women and families deserved," she said, emphasizing that there are many other qualified health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women. However, pro-life groups in the state contend that women have many other options for family planning services—locations that do not engage in ending the lives of the unborn.
"This is good news for families in the state of Iowa," Maggie DeWitte, director of Iowans for Life, said in a statement. "There are many quality community health centers in Iowa that provide comprehensive healthcare to women and families across the state "without taking the life of precious human beings."
"The reallocation of our tax dollars, away from the abortion industry and into the hands of true health care facilities, will only empower more Iowa women," said Jenifer Bowen, a spokeswoman for Iowa Right to Life.
As expected, Planned Parenthood assailed the passage of the anti-abortion bill, claiming that the closure of four of its facilities will leave "women without the healthcare they depend on."
"I am concerned about the health and well-being of the people in Iowa who now can no longer turn to their trusted healthcare provider," said Raegan McDonald-Mosley, chief medical officer at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Planned Parenthood earlier announced that it would close six clinics in the Southwest, including those in Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. The only Wyoming location is also slated to close for lack of financing.
Last year, Planned Parenthood reportedly closed 27 facilities nationwide.
In its latest annual report, the organization says it performed 323,999 abortions nationwide during the 2014-2015 fiscal year. That figure accounts for at least one-third of all abortions nationwide, when compared to statistics released in November by the Centers for Disease Control.