The Closing of Wyoming’s Planned Parenthood Clinic and What That Means for the State’s Pro-life Movement
Last week’s Casper Star Tribune headline announcing the closing of Wyoming’s only Planned Parenthood (PP) clinic not only made Wyoming news, but also national news. The clinic, located in Casper, will shut its doors for good in July. Pro-life people are celebrating, but many folks in our community and state wonder how this will affect women’s reproductive health. As some point out, the Casper clinic does not perform abortions; however, PP staffers refer to clinics operated by Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains that do perform them, primarily in Fort Collins and Denver as well as Billings.
As the PP spokesperson noted, services such as birth control and cancer screenings are available through other medical providers in Casper. They include Natrona County Public Health, Community Health, Wyoming Family Practice, and other healthcare organizations; some of these clinics operate on a sliding fee scale and accept Medicaid, just as PP does. Therefore, women in Central Wyoming are not in danger of losing access to reproductive health services.
True Care can also assist. Although we don’t provide birth control or cancer screening, we are here for women experiencing unplanned, unwanted pregnancies who need to know their options. Every year, nearly 400 women seek True Care’s medical services, which include pregnancy testing, limited obstetrical ultrasound, and STD testing performed by our professionally-trained, registered nurses. And, we provide these services at no cost to the patient. True “choice” is presented through relevant and factual education about the three options a woman has regarding her pregnancy – parenting, adoption and abortion – education women would not likely receive elsewhere.
Currently about 91 percent of our patients are assessed as abortion-vulnerable or abortion-minded, with 42 percent being those more inclined toward abortion. Will our numbers increase after Casper’s Planned Parenthood facility closes? We hope so! Women facing unplanned pregnancies need to know their options, all of their options, and they need to know the truth. Our center, and centers like True Care throughout the country, provide that truth, and we don’t profit from the decision a woman makes regarding the outcome of her pregnancy.
Now is a prime opportunity for True Care and other medical pregnancy centers to reach abortion-vulnerable and abortion-minded women. Planned Parenthood clinics across the country are shutting their doors, including two in Colorado, three in New Mexico, and four in Iowa; several of these facilities don’t perform abortions, but, as is the case at the Casper clinic, PP staff refer clients for abortion elsewhere. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains operates the Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico clinics to be shuttered and have been a part of their referral system. We who are pro-life can play a part in serving the women of our communities. As the PP clinics close, pregnancy centers like True Care must ramp up our marketing and establish ourselves as the experts in our communities when it comes to unplanned pregnancy. You can help us achieve these goals!
How can you help? True Care’s Run/Walk for Life is less than two weeks away – get involved by registering as a sponsored runner or walker or by sponsoring someone. You can also help by encouraging those women you encounter who are in the midst of unplanned pregnancies, women who are uncertain about their options, or who are strongly thinking of abortion, to contact True Care. In addition, inviting your friends and family to a Vision Tour, a one-hour tour of the center from the patient’s perspective, is a great way to introduce others to the life-affirming ministry of True Care. We’ve been in Casper for 30 years now, and we are always surprised to learn that many people don’t realize we exist or don’t know what we do. Help us change that – help us reach more confused and hurting young women who need our services as well as folks who can join us as donors, volunteers, or sponsored runners and walkers.
If you have questions, contact Terry at 472-2275 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She will be happy to explain True Care’s mission and needs.