By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Today Planned Parenthood Great Plains (PPGP) announced the opening of their new health facility that offers a full range of sexual and reproductive health services to patients in Oklahoma..
PPGP’s new health center, located in northwest Oklahoma City, is Planned Parenthood’s first dedicated abortion provider in the state of Oklahoma in the history of the organization.
“An individual’s right to access safe, legal abortion cannot just be a right inked on paper. Patients must have greater access to this constitutionally protected service in the state of Oklahoma and across the country,” said PPGP President and CEO, Laura McQuade.
“PPGP opened its new health center so that patients have one more trusted option in Oklahoma City and we will continue providing the excellent care patients have come to know and trust, in spite of some of the toughest medically unnecessary restrictions against abortion providers in the nation,” McQuade added.
As reported by the Associated Press, Oklahoma’s Republican-led Legislature has passed a number of anti-abortion measures including mandatory waiting periods, requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, and bans on various methods of abortion. Most of the proposed new laws have been temporarily halted as lawsuits are pending.
In March of this year, an initiative petition that would have made abortion illegal in the state was stopped by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
Following the ruling, ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel said, “It’s abundantly clear that any measure that interferes with a woman’s reproductive rights, including the legal right to have access to abortion, is unconstitutional.”
PPGP’s third and newest Oklahoma City facility is located at 6112 NW 63 Street in Warr Acres. This expansion of service comes on the heels of a geographical expansion into eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas making PPGP a four state, regional affiliate. The group’s combined twelve health centers are headquartered in Kansas City.
“With this expansion, PPGP will be able to better serve its patients by adding primary and pediatric care to its list of comprehensive health services,” McQuade said. “Becoming a regional provider has enabled our clinicians to collaborate closely and continue offering the most cutting edge treatments for our patients.”
Last September the Kansas-based Trust Women South Wind Women’s Center opened a new abortion facility in south Oklahoma City, becoming the first new abortion provider in the state in 40 years. There is also a facility in Norman and another in Tulsa.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, about 4,330 abortions were performed in Oklahoma last year, the fewest number since 2002.
“Ensuring patients have access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care is a relentless fight in this region,” McQuade said. We are dedicated to contributing to healthier outcomes for our communities as a larger affiliate with a more stable footprint and we will continue to open our doors wider for the countless patients who depend on PPGP for care.”
Planned Parenthood services include HIV testing and counseling, routine gynecological care; breasts exams; birth control, STI (sexually transmitted infection) diagnosis and treatment, fertility awareness instruction; hormone replacement therapy; and community education programs. Three percent of all Planned Parenthood health services are abortion services.
Patients can make appointments by visiting ppgreatplains.org or by calling 800-230-PLAN.