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Sheboygan Planned Parenthood is third location in Wisconsin to offer abortion services

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Planned Parenthood re-opened a center in Sheboygan, and they'll be expanding their services.

Planned Parenthood has been in Sheboygan since the 1970s, but with the opening of the new building Monday, they are now the third location in the state to offer abortion services.

"We have women traveling hours for and hours and hours to access some services and abortion in particular. We have people driving from the northern parts of Wisconsin to come all the way down to Milwaukee or Madison to receive access abortion services so we just recognized there was that need," said Tanya Atkinson, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood Wisconsin.

Atkinson confirms some even come from the upper peninsula of Michigan for Planned Parenthood services. She says the Sheboygan clinic now offers medication abortion.

"We have 72 counties in the state of Wisconsin, and until we were able to start providing services in Sheboygan only two of the 72 counties in the state of Wisconsin had abortion service centers," said Atkinson.

The center opens as the capitol is cracking down on the services planned parenthood offers. In April, Governor Scott Walker signed legislation that prohibits government-provided health insurance from paying for most abortions.

A release from Planned Parenthood details the services the clinic offers:

The new Sheboygan health center restores access to the full range of Planned Parenthood’s trusted, preventive health care services including breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, well-woman checkups, STD testing and treatment, testicular exams, honest sex education and health care referrals for prenatal care, adoption, and cancer treatment.

Planned Parenthood will also offer three new medical services for patients at this location including: endometrial biopsy and polyp removals, early pregnancy complication services (miscarriage management) and medication abortion services. Each of these services detailed below address the diverse and complex health needs of our patients:

Endometrial biopsy: usually performed to diagnose abnormal uterine bleeding. This test can help evaluate the cause of infertility or uterine infections and can be used to monitor the response to certain medications.

Early pregnancy complication: diagnose and care for health complications during pregnancy.

Medication abortion: an option to safely and effectively end an early pregnancy, within the first 10 weeks, with medication. Medication abortion services are available at two additional Planned Parenthood locations in Milwaukee and Madison.

"Decisions about pregnancy, and parenting, and whether or not to have a child are some the most personal and deeply intimate decisions an individual, a woman or a family is going to make... every single person who walks through our doors whatever the services they are here for has different story and different healthcare need," said Atkinson.

The clinic is responding to other reproductive needs in Sheboygan.

Planned Parenthood is a proud community health partner. For 45 years, Planned Parenthood has provided affordable, quality health care to more than 1,000 patients in Sheboygan each year, including breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, well-woman checkups, STD testing and treatment, testicular exams, honest sex education and health care referrals for prenatal care, adoption, and cancer. The Guttmacher Institute estimates there are 6,260 Sheboygan women in need of affordable women’s health services.

Since 2015 Sheboygan has seen a steady increase in STD rates highlighting the need for continued access to education and STD testing and treatment. On a positive note, the teen birth rate in Sheboygan has fallen from a high of 19.7 to 13.2 due to a reduction in unintended pregnancy. Nationally the decline in teen births has been attributed to improved access to and use of contraceptives.

Planned Parenthood offers both medication and surgical abortion services at health centers in Milwaukee and Madison. Together these Planned Parenthood facilities serve approximately 4,000 patients each year. No state or federal funding goes toward abortion services.

For more information about the Sheboygan clinic, click here.

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