ABILENE, Texas - Planned Parenthood's Abilene Perini Center will close permanently Friday, after providing health services for 12 years. About 2,500 women have received care at the facility annually. Those women might now have to travel hours for the same services. The next closest Planned Parenthood of West Texas is in San Angelo, which is about 90 miles away.
"Unfortunately, with state funding cuts, Planned Parenthood has been hit really hard here in the state," said Carla Holeva, CEO of Planned Parenthood of West Texas.
Holeva said the Abilene office has been hit so hard, that they had to make the decision to throw in the towel. She said employees have been able to find other work, but it's the patients who will have to bear the brunt of the facility closing.
"I think anytime you have to have a change of provider it's not a good thing," said Holeva.
Planned Parenthood's Perini Center will be transferring their patient's files to the San Angelo office unless patients request otherwise. About a month ago, pro-life protesters said they were happy that the facility would have to close.
"There are other places for them to get the other services that the women need here. Except that one service, killing babies," said Paula Matchen, President of West Texans for Life.
Holeva said that is simply not true.
"Planned Parenthood of West Texas doesn't provide abortion services. We provide family planning services, basic family planning, pap smears, breast exams, std testing, pregnancy testing. Does not provide abortion care," Holeva said.
Women who need to find care at another clinic in Abilene can visit Pregnancy Resources of Abilene for pregnancy and STD testing, the Abilene/Taylor County Health Department for pap smears and birth control, or the Alliance for Women and Children if they need mammograms or pelvic exams.