Planned Parenthood prepares to close its doors

A rally was held to raise awareness for women's health

BETTENDORF, Iowa - Dozens of people stood outside of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in Bettendorf Tuesday night, days before it's scheduled to shut down.
 
It's closing because Iowa's new budget blocks state funding to planned parenthoods across the state.
 
 
The move will leave more than 14,000 Iowans without access to certain services.
 
 
Alison Entler said she's watched the Bettendorf clinic flourish since it opened its doors decades ago.
She came out to show her support.
 
 
"This is such an important service and the fact that it's an aberration that it's being stopped," Entler said.
 
 
"It was such an important thing for so many groups, the LGBT community, women, low income, socio economically it reaches everybody and it should be open to everybody, it shouldn't be closed."
 
 
The clinic was notified of its closing in May.
 
 
Center Manager Angela Rodriguez-Finch said the rally is important for women to have a voice.
 
 
"The rally is important to keep patients and keep the community and women involved in the movement," Rodriguez said.
 
 
She said she's concerned for her patients.
 
 
"It is a really big loss," Rodriguez said. "What we're trying to do is set our patients up as much as we can with another provider," Rodriguez said. "Hopefully some will be able to travel to Iowa City, obviously there are financial constraints with that and some of our patients will not be able to make that happen," said Rodriguez.
 
 
Across the street the Women's Choice Center held a prayer vigil in solidarity. 
 
 
Executive Director Vicki Tyler said although the center doesn't offer abortions, women in the Quad Cities will still have another option for other free services.
 
 
"I think for any woman they want to feel loved and they want to feel respected," Tyler said. "One thing that I think we do a very good job of is helping them know how much God loves them and that they are respected," Tyler said. "We're a safe place for women to come to and we care about them," said Tyler.
 
 
"I'm not even of child bearing age," Entler said. "I don't really need the services, but I'll fight for somebody's right to have them," said Entler.
 
 
The last day for Bettendorf's Planned Parenthood clinic to provide services is June 30th.
 
 
Clinics in Burlington, Keokuk, and Sioux City will also shut down.
 
 
The nearest location will now be in Iowa City.

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