Planned Parenthood to close 5 clinics in Vermont, New Hampshire
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Five Planned Parenthood locations in Vermont and New Hampshire are closing next month.
Those locations are in Hyde Park, Bennington, St. Albans, Middlebury and Claremont, New Hampshire. They will close on June 12.
Planned Parenthood provides services like STI testing, birth control, cancer screenings and, most notably, abortion services.
With five clinics closing in Vermont and New Hampshire next month, people say they hope it’s not a trend.
“They’ll be coming to New York or going to other places and maybe not be safe,” said Joanne Lincoln, a New Yorker who visits Vermont frequently.
Nicole Clegg, a spokesperson for the organization, says the closures are to protect their sustainability. She cited staffing shortages, political divisiveness and underfunding.
“When we were looking at which health centers to expand and which would be closing, we looked at geography,” Clegg explained. “We looked at distance to make it somewhat manageable for folks.”
Clinics in Barre, Brattleboro and Williston in Vermont; Exeter, New Hampshire; and in Sanford, Biddeford and Topsham, Maine, will be expanding their hours over the course of the next year. Some say that isn’t enough.
“I live in North Troy. I live an hour and a half away from Burlington. That means I need to drive 45 minutes or an hour to get to a Planned Parenthood,” said one woman who uses their services. “That means other women are going to have to travel farther in order to get the health care they need and maybe they don’t have the resources to drive.”
Even with the closures, there will still be 15 Planned Parenthood clinics in northern New England. They’re also preparing for an influx of out-of-state patients if Roe v. Wade gets overturned.
“The exciting thing is we have telehealth, so many patients can stay with us through the telehealth program, get their birth control and prescriptions filled and access the level of care they need,” Clegg said.
She adds they’re still accepting new patients in person and via telehealth, as well as working with current patients to make sure they have a clinic.
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