Daily Dispatches
A pro-life demonstrator in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Associated Press/Photo by Charlie Neibergall
A pro-life demonstrator in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Vital Signs: Four Iowa abortion centers closing

Abortion

Shut down. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland announced Friday that four of its abortion facilities in Iowa will be closing soon because of “hostile political environments and restricted funding programs.” The fourth closure will make 16 total closures in two years, The Des Moines Register reports.

Facilities in the Iowa cities Ankeny, Fort Dodge, Mount Pleasant, and Washington have scheduled to close Dec. 12. Life Site News reported that all four Planned Parenthood offices offered the morning-after pill, surgical abortion referrals, and LGBT services. Board Chairman Bob Shaw said in a statement that the organization wants to focus its services where the patients are located. Only 10 percent of Planned Parenthood’s Iowa patients visited those four clinics.

Struck down. For the second time this month, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear arguments over Oklahoma abortion restrictions. The court dismissed a suit Tuesday over a law requiring women to view an ultrasound before making the decision to abort. In an earlier case, the court let stand a lower court’s decision to strike down Oklahoma’s law restricting abortion-inducing drugs.

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In 2010, the Oklahoma state legislature approved the ultrasound law, which also allowed ultrasound technicians to describe fetal development to mothers considering abortion. Soon after, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit claiming the law violated medial ethics by making doctors perform medically unnecessary procedures. The suit also alleged that the government was interfering with a woman’s rights to make her own decisions. A district court judge found the law unconstitutional and granted a permanent injunction in March 2012. The Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld the district court’s ruling.

Twenty-three states have laws regulating ultrasounds. Texas, Louisiana, and Wisconsin have ultrasound laws that are very similar to the Oklahoma law.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Alissa Robertson
Alissa Robertson

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