Ongoing concerns about security standards at an Appleton abortion clinic have prompted Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin to announce it is permanently closing the facility.
The decision follows a nationwide review of safety and security at Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide, in the wake of a deadly attack at a Colorado Springs clinic last fall that killed three people and wounded several others. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin Chief Operating Officer Chris Williams said Monday that the Appleton North facility “just was not going to be able to meet the stringent and scrutinized approach that we need to take.”
Williams noted that there were not specific threats against the clinic at this time, but it has been the target of violence in the past. Most recently was when it was set on fire by a homemade bomb in 2012. “There are constant threats that occur at all of our sites,” he said.
AUDIO: Statement by PPWI CEO Teri Huyck (2:29)
The clinic had previously suspended abortion services last fall, due to staffing issues. The decision to close it permanently means the only three abortion clinics in the state are now in Madison and Milwaukee. Planned Parenthood will still operate two in the state, while Affiliated Medical Services operates the third in Milwaukee.
Pro-life groups praised the announcement. Wisconsin Right to Life executive director Heather Weininger said in a statement that “We are absolutely thrilled that unborn children will no longer lose their lives at this abortion facility,” while Pro-Life Wisconsin State Director Dan Miller called the news “cause for great celebration.”
Planned Parenthood will continue to operate a separate clinic in the Appleton-area, which provides general reproductive health services and medical screenings.