New Planned Parenthood to open in Meridian

Credit: Zach Stotland/ KTVB

New Planned Parenthood to open in Meridian

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 26 at 3:45 AM

MERIDIAN -- A woman's access to abortion may be getting a little easier in the Gem State. KTVB told you about the shortage of doctors here, and Planned Parenthood said this also applies to reproductive health care providers. However, they are doing something about it right here in the Treasure Valley.

By the end of April, there will be a third Planned Parenthood health center in Idaho.

"We'll do well women exams, breast health exams, life-saving cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment,  birth control services and abortion services as well," said Hannah Brass Greer, with Planned Parenthood.

Brass Greer doesn't think three centers in the state is enough for the demand. That's how they determined where to put the third center.

"Assessing patient needs and where our patients were coming from, at least for our current Boise health center, it made a lot of sense to have a health center that was easier for people to access," said Brass Greer.

Access was a problem for Jennie Linn McCormack, who said she was unable to find an abortion provider in any of the counties in her area. After buying abortion drugs off the Internet, the Bannock County prosecutor charged her with a felony for violating the 2011 Idaho law that banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. A judge struck down that law, commonly known as the fetal pain law, late Wednesday.

Not everyone agrees with a woman's right to choose. Terry Jung is part of an anti-abortion group called 40 Days for Life. She and her husband came out Thursday to pray for those involved with abortion.

"Certainly I am pro-life," Jung said.

Jung said she has seen people change their minds.

"Personally I talked to a young woman yesterday. My husband and I do it twice a week."

She says Planned Parenthood has a right to open another clinic. She just wants to share her side.

"We just love life. And I think the most important thing to understand is we believe every woman has a right to good information," said Jung.

Eight states now have fetal pain laws in effect, barring abortions after 20 weeks in all but exceptional cases, such a danger to the mother's life.  Among those, Arizona and Georgia also had fetal pain statutes similar to Idaho's, and those have both been blocked by courts, as well.

However, reducing access to abortion has just reached a new level, with Arkansas passing the nation's toughest law, restricting access after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The sponsor of the law says that's when a fetus' heart starts beating.

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