The only Planned Parenthood clinic in Wyoming will be among the six clinics Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains will close in the coming months.
Wyoming will be one of two states without a Planned Parenthood clinic, the other being North Dakota.
Adrienne Mansanares, chief experience officer of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, told the Casper Star-Tribune that it was a “challenging decision” to close the clinic for financial reasons. “We looked at what services we provided,” Mansanares said. “We also looked at the financial health of the health center.”
The Planned Parenthood clinic in Casper opened in 1975, and serves about 500 patients per year, according to Mansanares.
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The clinic offers referrals for patients seeking abortion care, but does not provide it directly. Several kinds of reproductive health care services are available at the clinic, including different types of birth control, pregnancy testing, sexually transmitted infection testing, and vaccines.
Emerg-A-Care of Jackson Hole is the only health facility that offers abortion services in Wyoming. Dr. Brent Blue, a family physician and abortion provider, has been the frequent target of anti-choice protests.
In the Star-Tribune interview, Mansanares said that decision to close the clinic was not directly related to politics.
“There is always some big hit or big attack out there to close down access to reproductive health care, so that is a constant reality we have to face while focusing internally,” Mansanares said.
Wyoming’s Republican Gov. Matt Mead in March signed a pair of anti-choice bills, the first abortion restrictions passed in the state in two decades. The GOP’s HB 182 requires doctors to inform people seeking abortion care of the chance to view an ultrasound, as Rewire reported. HB 116, a law based on an anti-choice front group’s discredited smear campaign against Planned Parenthood, makes it a crime punishable by up to 14 years in prison to sell, transfer, or distribute cells or tissues from an aborted fetus.
Mansanares emphasized that Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains will continue to work with reproductive rights advocates in the state, including NARAL Pro-Choice Wyoming and the Women for Women abortion fund.
“The political footprint and the education we provide will continue to remain,” Mansanares said.
The Planned Parenthood clinic in Casper will begin scaling back services in the coming weeks, and will officially close July 21.