Planned Parenthood Closes Tulsa, Oklahoma Clinic After De-Funding
by Steven Ertelt | Oklahoma City, OK | LifeNews.com
Planned Parenthood is closing its Westside Health Center in Tulsa following the state’s decision to yank taxpayer funds it received through a taxpayer-funded program that provides food for low income women and children. In October, Oklahoma officials dropped the abortion giant so it could steer tax dollars to legitimate agencies helping women and children in need.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health ended its WIC contract with Planned Parenthood, whose CEO thinks the decision was politically motivated. The letter from the Health Department to Planned Parenthood is signed by Chief of WIC Services Terry Bryce and dated September 27 and says the contract will not be renewed and is ending September 30, but gives an extension to the end of the year.
The state also de-funded the abortion company because Planned Parenthood’s cost per participant exceeded those of legitimate centers.
Now, Planned Parenthood will close is Tulsa clinic by February 1 according to an email to staff from Jill June, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. The Tulsa World newspaper has more details.
Six Planned Parenthood employees in Tulsa who worked with WIC clients have already been laid off, according to the email.
Planned Parenthood’s WIC contract ended Dec. 31. State health department officials have said the contract was terminated because of relatively low caseloads and high cost per participant as well as a lack of response to health department questions about the contract’s administration.
Planned Parenthood has maintained that the decision to end the contract was political, which the department of health denies.
In December, a federal judge ruled the state of Oklahoma has the right to cut taxpayer funding to the Planned Parenthood abortion business. U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot of the Western District of Oklahoma ruled that Planned Parenthood can’t stop Oklahoma from ending the contract. The ruling indicated the abortion company failed to prove that the contract was ended for political reasons because it supports abortion.
As Reuters reported:
The judge said Planned Parenthood’s performance shortfalls – mostly drops in caseload – did not themselves seem to be problems that could lead to a cut in ties.
“But a routine, solvable problem can become a justifiable basis for strong action when it is compounded by persistent unresponsiveness in addressing the challenge,” Friot wrote in his decision.
Losing the contract will force Planned Parenthood to close one of its three clinics in Tulsa, according to Penny Dickey, the organization’s chief operating officer.
State officials have said other clinics can absorb the Planned Parenthood caseload in the Tulsa area when the contract ends.
The WIC program brings in 3,000 people a month to the abortion giant, and will help women and children find the same services at a location that does not also refer women for abortions.
“This is a renewal period, and the agency has taken the option not to renew based on the needs of the Health Department, the contractor’s performance and funding availability,” according to a statement the department released.
The WIC program uses federal funds to provide food vouchers to low-income pregnant women, women who have recently given birth, and infants and children younger than 5.