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MILWAUKEE -Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin said Thursday it will close its Fond du Lac clinic this fall because of state budget cuts, making it the fifth facility the group will have closed in two years due to a lack of state funding.

The Fond du Lac clinic will close September 25, said Teri Huyck, the group's president and CEO. After the closure, the group will have 22 health centers around the state. Patients from the Fond du Lac clinic will be referred to Planned Parenthood clinics in Oshkosh, about 20 miles to the north, and West Bend, which is 35 miles south.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin served more than 1,100 women each year in the Fond du Lac community, Huyck said.

"This is a loss for the women and families who rely on Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin for regular cancer screenings, birth control, health exams and confidential STD (sexually transmitted disease) testing and treatment," she said.

All five closures have been the direct consequence of the Legislature eliminating $1 million in state funding in the last budget, she said.

That money was earmarked for women's health care services that Planned Parenthood offered in nine counties. None of the five clinics being closed offered abortions. State law prohibits state money from being used to pay for abortions unless medically necessary.

Huyck said her group worked to minimize the impact of the budget cuts but that the mounting costs of uncompensated health care became too significant to overcome.

Jody Krahn, a nurse practitioner in Planned Parenthood's Fond du Lac clinic, said the closure will be "a terrible loss for the community." For many patients, the clinic provided their only health care options and gateway to other resources, even for non-reproductive issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure, she said.

Planned Parenthood is the largest nonprofit reproductive health care provider in the state. The four clinics that closed last year were in Beaver Dam, Chippewa Falls, Johnson Creek and Shawano.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Planned Parenthood to close Fond du Lac clinic

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