Fewer Women Seek Preventative Reproductive Care When Clinic Closures Increase

According to a new study done by the Analysis Group in Boston, fewer women seek preventative reproductive health care when women’s health clinics are shut down in their communities. Though these lawmakers aim the funding cuts at abortion providers, there is an unintended (and unfortunate) consequence; less women receive necessary reproductive care, such as pap smears and cancer screenings.

The study reveals that when a women’s health clinic (such as Planned Parenthood) in a rural area is shut down, there is an annual decrease in women receiving breast exams, mammograms, and Pap test. When the distance to the next nearest clinic increases drastically (such as 100 miles or further), fewer women tend to seek out preventative care. Less educated women are affected the most, likely due to the fact that they are uninsured, underinsured, rely on charity care, have less flexible schedules, or lack the means of transportation.

The research conducted by the Analysis Group (and paid for by an undisclosed national network) will be published in an article titled “The Impactof Women’s Health Clinic Closures on Preventative Care” and is the first to quantify the number of women receiving preventative care once a closure takes place. Texas and Wisconsin were the states primarily researched due to 2011 legislation that cut funding to women’s health clinics providing abortion services within these states.

Sure, cutting funding to women’s health clinics may successfully decrease the amount of legal and safe abortions that take place, but it also decreases the likelihood that women will seek preventative reproductive health care.

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