MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — Planned Parenthood is expected to close six locations by year’s end. The organization announced plans to close the Muncie center by the end of business Friday and the Terre Haute center on July 20.
Additionally, Planned Parenthood will close its Fishers location later this month and the Avon one at the end of August. By December, centers in Valparaiso and East Chicago will also close. All four centers will merge with nearby facilities.
Betty Cockrum, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood in Indiana and Kentucky, says advances in reproductive health care have made regular visits unnecessary. Pap tests, which were recommended every year, are now only needed every three years for healthy women. Cockrum also points to various birth control options which require visits more than a decade later. Finally, Cockrum believes emergency contraception, which is now available over the counter, has also contributed to dramatically reduced foot traffic.
“It’s down from 107,000 patients at the very peak, a number of years ago to about 56,000 at this point. It’s incredibly important that we be there and provide the services that we do. Because we serve a particular demographic and are often the only health care provider that our patients see,” Cockrum.
For the Muncie and Terre Haute locations, which will not be merging with another Planned Parenthood facility, letters were sent to patients that listed nearby providers.