IMMOKALEE, Fla. – Planned Parenthood may be forced to close a local clinic at the Collier County Health Department because Gov. Rick Scott approved legislation to defund the nonprofit organization starting in July.
Gov. Scott’s move means that Planned Parenthood clinics will lose $114,000 in state funding. Many anti-abortion advocates are applauding the decision.
“I prefer that my tax money does not go to this. Horrible. Abortion, to me, is horrible,” said one woman, Marilyn Romeo.
But not all Planned Parenthood clinics perform abortions. Still, they face closure due to the loss of funds. That could affect thousands of clients, Anna Eskamani of Planned Parenthood said.
“Our center in Immokalee only provides preventative care services,” Eskamani said. “So we’re talking about cancer screenings, STI screenings, birth control. These are going to be thousands of women who literally have no where else to go.”
Planned Parenthood leaders also said the measure will eliminate funding for at least 2,000 Medicaid patients and more than 5,000 patients receiving low-income funding called Title X. Eskamani said Gov. Scott is not concerned about women’s health issues.
“We’re in the governor’s home city. If there was a true desire to support the women of Collier County he would never have signed this bill,” she said.
But the governor’s office said more $5 million in state funds are already provided for reproductive health care at many charities and an additional 67 county health departments. Some people believe Planned Parenthood is not a necessary service provider.
“All of those services can be provided by other facilities in the community,” said Ceil Jennings.