Alternatives to Planned Parenthood available in Southern Utah if it gets defunded

A protester demonstrates in front of the Planned Parenthood clinic in St. George, Utah, Feb. 11, 2017 | File photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Despite targeted efforts by politicians against family planning clinics like Planned Parenthood, if it ever were defunded, there are alternatives in Southern Utah that offer similar kinds of care.

A person supporting Planned Parenthood looks on during Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s town hall meeting at Brighton High School in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, Feb. 9, 2017 | Associated Press file photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

Cutting funds and access to Planned Parenthood is not a distant notion, especially under President Donald Trump’s administration, which made things a little harder for Planned Parenthood after a new proposal sent to the White House on Friday. Anti-abortion supporters have long asserted Planned Parenthood is the main organization to blame for pushing a pro-abortion agenda, but there are a lot more services Planned Parenthood offers that could be at risk if it gets defunded.

The Planned Parenthood clinic in St. George, which is located at 595 S. Bluff St., provides birth control, pregnancy testing, screenings and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, cancer screenings for men and women, pap smears, vasectomies and HPV vaccines. The St. George clinic doesn’t offer abortion services because there is not a facility in Southern Utah that performs abortions.

Read more: Abortion in Utah legal but availability limited, especially in Southern Utah

Alternatives to Planned Parenthood

If a woman is considering abortion, the St. George Planned Parenthood clinic is still able to offer counseling on abortions even if it can’t offer referrals. People will need to visit Salt Lake City, Las Vegas or other locations for abortions to be performed.

A demonstrator holds a sign in opposition to abortion during a protest at the St. George offices of Planned Parenthood in St. George, Utah, Jan. 22, 2016 | Photo by Leanna Bergeron, St. George News

In Southern Utah, most family medical clinics offer reproductive heath care options as an alternative source to Planned Parenthood. For instance, Family Healthcare, which has clinics in St. George and Cedar City, offers a sliding fee scale for patients to gain access to affordable reproductive health care, receptionist Briah Adams said.

There are other options, like the nonprofit Hope Pregnancy Care Center of St. George — located at 391 E. 500 South — which offers pregnancy tests, STD information and abortion information, as well as programs and presentations on sexual risk avoidance, parenting and adoption information. Additional services include providing maternity and infant supplies and fatherhood programs.

The services at the Hope Pregnancy Care Center are cost-free to people who come in to use them

The center states on its website: “We offer practical, emotional and spiritual support to women and men through our various compassionate programs.”

Cyndia Johnson, a midwife who volunteers at the Doctors’ Volunteer Clinic in St. George, offers gynecology services and STD testing on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon. The nonprofit clinic of volunteer doctors, which is located at 1036 E. Riverside Drive, also offers birth control options. However, the Doctors’ Volunteer Clinic does not offer abortion counseling or prenatal care, said DeAnne Staheli, director of the clinic.

“We refer people to Planned Parenthood for those kinds of services,” she said.

Read more: Doctors’ Volunteer Clinic is all about hope. This is where people in need can get help for physical and mental health

Another option for birth control and reproductive health care is the Women’s Health Specialists clinic through Intermountain Healthcare, said Dave Green, a public relations manager at Intermountain Healthcare. The Women’s Health Specialists clinic in St. George is located at 346 E. 600 South. Cedar City also has the Cedar City Institute of Women’s Health, located at 110 W. 1325 North.

Pricing for reproductive health services depends on a person’s income for sliding-fee scales and the extent of the person’s health insurance coverage, but Planned Parenthood is usually less expensive than other providers because it is subsidized by donations, grants and taxpayer money, said Katrina Barker, communications and marketing coordinator for Planned Parenthood Association of Utah.

Family planning under Trump

On Friday, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department sent a plan to the Trump administration to ban taxpayer-funded family planning clinics, like Planned Parenthood, from referring women for abortions. The rules would also prevent Planned Parenthood clinics from being located in facilities where abortions are also performed. The regulatory process could take months for the new rules to be in place, and there could be legal action.

President Donald Trump speaks to participants of the annual March for Life event, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Jan. 19, 2018. The Trump administration will resurrect a Reagan-era rule that would ban federally-funded family planning clinics from discussing abortion with women or sharing space with abortion providers. | Associated Press file photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta, St. George News

“We will not stand by while our basic health care and rights are stripped away,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood.

The proposal, if implemented, will roll back the previous requirement, which was adopted under President Bill Clinton, that abortions, along with prenatal care and adoption, be discussed among options presented to a client by family planning clinics.

Planned Parenthood has received federal funding since President Richard Nixon, a Republican, signed a law that provided money for family planning services. But now, the prospect of defunding Planned Parenthood isn’t a foreign one; many Republicans have since attempted to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

The new Trump administration policy “would ensure that taxpayers do not indirectly fund abortions,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a news release. Anti-abortion supporters have commended the move because of the distinction it makes between taxpayer funded clinics and abortion services.

The new regulations will draw a bright line between abortion centers and family planning programs, just as … federal law requires and the Supreme Court has upheld,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a key voice for religious conservatives.

Jessica Marcella of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, which represents clinics, said requiring physical separation from abortion facilities is impractical and would disrupt services for women.

“I cannot imagine a scenario in which public health groups would allow this effort to go unchallenged,” Marcella said.

Even though the Planned Parenthood clinic in St. George has not offered abortion services, that doesn’t stop people from having misconceptions about the services provided by the nonprofit organization, Barker said.

The St. George clinic currently offers “informed consent” for abortions, which is when women are told their legal rights and alternatives for abortions. In Utah, a woman must have a face-to-face informed consent meeting and wait 72 hours before having an abortion

“The thing that Planned Parenthood offers is that it’s more affordable than going to many other physicians’ offices if you don’t have insurance,” Barker said. “We offer a safety net for a lot of folks who would not offer health care anywhere else.”

Services provided through Planned Parenthood

For abortion services, women in Southern Utah would have to visit a Planned Parenthood clinic in Salt Lake City, Las Vegas or another health care facility outside the area, but Planned Parenthood offers a lot more services than its most controversial one, Barker said.

A lot of people misunderstand what we do,” Barker said. “They think the majority of what we do is to provide abortions, but that’s actually a very, very small part of what we do, especially here in Utah.”

Known as Title X, the family-planning program serves about 4 million women a year through clinics, costing taxpayers about $260 million. But that money is not used for abortions because federal family planning funds cannot be used to pay for abortions. Planned Parenthood clinics qualify for Title X family planning grants, but they keep that money separate from funds that pay for abortions.

The Planned Parenthood clinic at 595 S. Bluff St. in St. George, Utah, May 2, 2018 | Photo by Spencer Ricks, St. George News

Although abortion is politically divisive, the U.S. abortion rate has dropped significantly — from about 29 per 1,000 women of reproductive age in 1980 to about 15 in 2014. In Utah, abortion rates are also at a historic low, according to a state report released last month on abortions before 2017.

The rate of 4.2 abortions performed for every 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 is the lowest since Utah began keeping records in 1975, said Richard Oborn of the Utah Health Department.

In response to the low abortion numbers in Utah, Karrie Galloway, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Utah, cited its work helping families get access to contraceptive methods such as intrauterine devices. While Utah state law does impose restrictions on abortion, including a 72-hour waiting period, she doesn’t see that as a primary contributor to the decline. Meanwhile, Pro-Life Utah president Mary Taylor pointed to a nationwide drop in adolescent sex and pregnancies, among other factors.

Planned Parenthood needs to be here, Barker said, and it needs to be funded for the people in Utah who use the services provided at the clinics.

“Without us, I don’t know where a lot of these patients would go,” Barker said. “We’re a really vital part of the health care system.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter:  @STGnews | @SpencerRicks

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.



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  • brishie May 21, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    President Trump is a Christian Leader against any kind of abortion…He’s leading the country now with a prophetic leadership, like it should be..As for Planned Parenthood, abortion is only one problem..They use the funded money to illegally distribute fetal baby parts across the world..It’s been proven, and PP Execs have been caught talking about this and bragging about the money it generates…It’s disgusting and they need to be shut down all over the country…A new type of service for women, needs to happen…One that offers health care, sex education and adoption options. These programs will have a much better chance at Government Funding, under Trump. PP targets vulnerable women, usually the young, to advance their own pockets and make so many Execs on their payroll, very rich…Watch some of the videos on Youtube, where they are putting live fetus’s in a bowl while it kicks and responds to the touch and the knives they use…It will break your heart…I say Shut them all down!

    • No Filter May 22, 2018 at 9:37 am

      Wow you sure will believe anything, these so called videos are just propaganda made up by some lunatics from crazy pro life supporters. You will believe this, but don’t believe any of the allegations against Trump? You are a prime example of why inbreeding needs to stop in Utah and the deep south states. I hope your gene pool dries up soon, the world will be a better place.

      • comments May 22, 2018 at 10:26 am


      • desertgirl May 22, 2018 at 10:42 am

        They weren’t ‘made up’ they took place. I know facts are difficult for the left and pro-baby killers. You are a member of the dumb-downed sheep that the left have been breeding for decades. No brains.

        • No Filter May 22, 2018 at 1:48 pm

          And you know this because you were there personally I bet. Regardless of how you feel about abortion, planned parenthood is a valuable source for young women who have no where else to go. If you don’t like abortions then don’t get one. You don’t control others peoples choices just because your holy book tells you so. Your book is not the law. Laws are in place to restrict late term abortions and to allow abortions to mothers who follow the correct procedures and education before completing. If you want to be mad at someone take your complaining to other countries who don’t have laws regarding abortions like ours. Abortions are legal so get over it and do something productive with your miserable life besides complaining about what other people do with their lives.

        • PatriotLiberal May 23, 2018 at 9:23 am

          I saw those videos. They were obviously edited to support the views of the scumbags who made it. I watched the full unedited versions (which were also posted to their site but buried a bit deeper then the homepage).

          • John May 23, 2018 at 7:35 pm

            panty-fa, you wouldn’t know a fact if you found while cleaning that truck stop bathroom floor.

    • jaybird May 22, 2018 at 7:42 pm

      All fake, starting with Trump is the Christian Leader. BIG REVELATION: he’s a liar, surrounds himself with mobsters, criminals, porn stars, pedophiles, russian mob, and enriches himself, his friends and family, just like Putin. He could care less about abortion or your religion cause he only cares about personal gain. Best to use a other example of good. Hypocrit or just ignorant?

      • comments May 23, 2018 at 6:11 pm

        I don’t know why so many of these idiots/religious loons believe trump is some kind of messiah. His corruption and depravity don’t seem to phase them. It’s really bizarre.

      • John May 23, 2018 at 7:36 pm

        jailbird,, hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! dodobird is more descriptive

  • statusquo May 22, 2018 at 8:01 am

    Romans 1:18 God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

    Forsaking the knowledge of God in our nation is having dire consequences. 60 million innocent children have been murdered by their mothers in the past 45 years.

    • No Filter May 22, 2018 at 9:48 am

      But it is OK for the millions who died in the name of Christianity? Because a book told you it was for a good cause. If your god is real then isn’t it better to be in “heaven” with him than on earth with all us liberals?

      • desertgirl May 22, 2018 at 10:44 am

        My, you are hateful and ignorant. Seek mental health care, not just for yourself but for the protection of human and life in general.

        • John May 23, 2018 at 7:40 pm

          cloggy (clogged filter) smokes pot and worships rachel madcow, Don’t expect any intelligent revelations from that corner of the cage. Just leave some ABC gum and some cookie crumbs and she will be ok till tomorrow’s liberal talking points come out ! hahahahahaha!

      • Utahguns May 22, 2018 at 11:42 am

        Yeah…heaven is on my agenda, but, it’s currently hell having to live with you liberals.

        • No Filter May 22, 2018 at 1:55 pm

          It’s going to be a long painful life for you, I am sorry that you will be disappointed when you find out your cloud city is a fraud.

          • Utahguns May 22, 2018 at 4:08 pm

            Oh sure…
            Your opinion and voice is right there with the cow patties out in my pasture.
            Looks like you’re the one with the pathetic life.
            Who are you angry with? Or, were you just born that way?
            Do a bowl…the effects might (slim chance though…) help you.

        • jaybird May 22, 2018 at 7:52 pm

          But your heaven lives in lies.

          • John May 23, 2018 at 7:41 pm

            oh shut up dodobird, you are a loser

    • jaybird May 22, 2018 at 7:48 pm

      Hey, how bout this one:
      But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. TIMOTHY

      • ladybugavenger May 23, 2018 at 2:33 pm

        One of my favorite scriptures

  • HerePliggyWiggy May 22, 2018 at 8:12 am

    So when the perverted plig hillbilly knocks up his 13 year-old daughter, he’ll still be able to get her that ever-loved abortion.

  • Mike P May 22, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Can you say CONDOM ?

    • desertgirl May 22, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Exactly, or the number of other birth control methods that are cheap; definitely cheaper than a pregnancy abortion included. The minute amount of pregnancies due to rape and incest are across the board excuse for willy nilly abortions; abortion is being used as birth control. We are the only nation that has no limits on killing humans in the womb.

      • No Filter May 22, 2018 at 2:02 pm

        Wrong again, eastern Europe, parts of Africa, and Asia all have a higher abortion rates than the US and Canada. We are not even in the top 10.

  • comments May 22, 2018 at 10:28 am

    I still find the procedure of abortion to be very distasteful, but i think I’ve come around to being a full supporter of it regardless.

    • desertgirl May 22, 2018 at 10:51 am

      It’s beyond distasteful. Abortion has become a method of birth control, not how civilized people conduct their life. I don’t give in due to ‘inconvenience’. To bad you and so many do. Killing a viable human with a needle or pulling it apart is barbaric and no excuse for it. NONE

      • comments May 22, 2018 at 11:13 pm

        pulling it apart huh? you ever had a pulled pork sandwich? sounds good right

        I’ll go ahead and say it. The vast majority of these people getting abortions aren’t exactly “the cream of the crop” and most would be lousy parents. The sperm donor isn’t even in the picture 95% of the time. Think of all the welfare dollars and future prison inmates you right-wing nutters are saving by turning these unwanted fetuses into pulled pork. You loons should be in love with PP and abortions just bc of all the tax dollars that are saved. You people should hold margaret sanger in high esteem. Even you want all these fetuses saved you should be will to adopt some of them out of the foster system when they get older, bc that’s where a big chunk of them end up. These are the ones that no one wants. If you want them not aborted you should be willing to shoulder some of the burden–that means not whining incessantly about “welfare moms”, because that’s who’s producing these PP fetuses.

        • ladybugavenger May 23, 2018 at 2:35 pm

          You’re for abortion because you have this”weed them out” mentality. You know, where you can abort bad people and save mankind.

          Kinda creepy Bob

          • comments May 23, 2018 at 6:25 pm

            Well… a lot of right-wing loons wait till after they’re born to express their ”weed them out” mentality. It’s an unpleasant truth to discuss but it is the truth. These women going in for abortions aren’t usually high achievers or “the cream of the crop” and neither are the sperm donors, if they’re even still around or if the women even know who it was. The babies they would otherwise birth aren’t destined for a very bright future 99% of the time. If that isn’t the truth I’d be happy to be convinced otherwise. I’m glad it isn’t my place to decide any of this. It’s up to the pregnant women to decide, and for now I feel that’s the way it should be.

          • comments May 23, 2018 at 6:28 pm

            I feel like if these “hardcore anti-abortioners” aren’t taking in foster kids or supporting unwanted children in other ways then they are very likely hypocrites. They should get out there and support these underprivileged after they are born or they should keep they’re mouths shut about all of it, ya know what I’m sayin’?

          • ladybugavenger May 23, 2018 at 8:12 pm

            Kinda, not really Bob lol I hear your words..and I have to ask… do you think 3rd world countries should abort all their pregnancies so there are no starving children?

          • comments May 23, 2018 at 9:33 pm

            it’s not for me to decide, but overpopulation is a big reason for much of the poverty in places. Them learning what causes pregnancy and using birth control methods would be a start. Better to be aborted than to be born and then starve to death? I have no answer on that one. Your religion tells you that all these unborn fetuses with souls and all this have this sort of intrinsic value and should be saved, and I understand that perspective, but I’m not religious so I don’t really fully agree with it. From a humanistic perspective abortion is quite disgusting; from a practical perspective it seems quite necessary. Who knows LBA… I don’t “like” abortion or the entire concept of it, but it’s not my place to decide. Let it be the mother’s right, and her choice to live with. As far as the docs doing these slice and dice procedures on fetuses, I’m not quite sure how they live with themselves everyday. I’m not sure if there’s a way to say this “politely”, but if it were people of a “higher quality” being aborted I guess I’d have a lot more of a problem with it, but like I say, it’s not for me to decide. It’s their choice. No one forces anyone to have their unborn sliced up and vacuumed out of them.

          • ladybugavenger May 24, 2018 at 10:45 am

            I’m am curious how mothers who have abortions feel after they have one.. and how it affects them years later… I never hear that side. It must be so dark people dont talk about it?

          • ladybugavenger May 24, 2018 at 4:52 pm

            My mother made my sister (she was under 18) have an abortion. I mean, I guess, my sister could have fought against it, i don’t know, maybe she wanted an abortion.

            And no one talked about it. I was snooping around my sisters room and found a paper (it might have been a receipt)

            It’s a dirty little secret, I suppose that’s why no one has mentioned it in my family.

            The only way I ever knew anything growing up was by snooping, must be why I’m such a good sleuther ?

          • comments May 24, 2018 at 5:00 pm

            I really don’t like to dwell on it. All I know is there are too many people that I wish would’ve been aborted–got prisons full of them actually. Slicing and dicing any kind of baby or fetus or whatever isn’t a pleasant thought. Makes humanity seem pretty worthless actually. Like I keep saying, it’s not my place to decide. As far as how the women feel after the fact, well, we all make choices and have to live with it. I’m sure it goes both ways–I’m sure some regret it and some don’t.

    • tazzman May 22, 2018 at 11:39 am

      I’ve moved in the opposite direction.

    • jaybird May 22, 2018 at 7:50 pm

      I think its significant that a man is carrying the opposition sign. Guess he hasnt heard, moma’s baby, papa’s maybe.

  • theone May 22, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Numbers 5: 11-22
    Your make believe skydaddy’s instructions to end a pregnancy.

    Brishie is delusional on a scale only a tRump supporter can achieve.

  • ladybugavenger May 23, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    I have the same thought about abortion as I do about invitro fertilization. They are both playing god.

    God is the giver and taker of life.

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