Report: Abortion Clinics Are Disappearing Faster Than Ever Before

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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Abortion clinics are closing down at a record annual pace of more than one every two weeks, driven in large part by prohibitive state legislation.

At least 162 abortion providers have either stopped offering abortions or shut down entirely since 2011, reported Bloomberg News. Just 21 clinics opened in that same time.

More than 25 percent of the closings happened because of new prohibitive state regulations that made it either too expensive or too difficult logistically to provide abortions. In Texas, for example, dozens of clinics have shut down because new laws require abortion clinics to have facilities equal to a surgical center and doctors to have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital.

Other reasons for the decline in providers are a decrease in demand, which pro-abortion activists attribute to better access to birth control and family planning, changing demographics, and the consolidation of clinics. Some clinics, including several in Montana, Michigan and North Carolina, shut down because no doctors willing to perform abortions could be found.

The record decline in providers is happening in 35 states, and in both major cities and small towns. Fourteen clinics stopped offering abortions or shut down in Iowa, and all of them were operated by Planned Parenthood, which attributes the decline to consolidation.

Even in California, where pro-abortion activists thrive, more than a dozen clinics shut down.

Some abortion providers have difficulty sustaining business because of resistance from the community and from local vendors who refuse to associate with or service abortion providers. Julie Burkhart runs a clinic in Witchita, Kan., and told Bloomberg News she was unable to buy a day of sponsorship from a local NPR affiliate because the station didn’t want to be seen as taking a position on abortion.

Her clinic drops $20,000 each year to fly in a doctor willing to provide second trimester abortions.

Another clinic director told Bloomberg she had to repair a bed herself because no local handyman would service the clinic, and in New Mexico a clinic was refused billboard space because it provides abortions. The New Mexico clinic has a full-time staffer just to handle vendors.

Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder and chief executive officer of Whole Woman’s Health told Bloomberg News: “This is probably the most difficult business you could ever run.”

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