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Planned Parenthood: 5 Ind. clinics will close

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Planned Parenthood will close five health clinics across central Indiana after losing some of its federal grant money to provide family planning services to low-income women.

The clinics in Anderson, Franklin, Kokomo, Shelbyville and Indianapolis will close over the next six months, Planned Parenthood of Indiana said in a statement provided to The Associated Press on Sunday.

The five centers, none of which provide abortions, serve a total of a(bout 8,500 patients, the statement said.

At a time when unemployment in Indiana continues to grow, and more people are uninsured and unable to afford quality health care, “we are very concerned that these funding changes will dramatically reduce” the number of residents who will be served, the statement said.

Planned Parenthood expects to lose some of the funding it receives in federal grants administered by the Indiana State Department of Health. The grants were used to help pay some of the costs for patient treatment.

Starting in October, the nonprofit Indiana Family Health Council will take over administering $2 million in grants, some of which previously went to Planned Parenthood. The council will require clinics that receive grants to charge women on a sliding scale depending on their income.

The poorest women will receive exams, lab work and contraceptives for free, said Gayla Winston, the council’s president.

“If you take our funds, you have to run that whole program at that site by our rules,” Winston said.

Planned Parenthood said the reduction in funds will also affect clinics not set to close. The nonprofit group decided that “many of our sites must now become fully self-sustaining, or independent, because of the restrictions placed on the funding,” the statement read.

The agency provides abortions at clinics elsewhere in Indianapolis and Bloomington, and in and Merrillville.

© 2009 Associated Press. Displayed by permission. All rights reserved.

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