Planned Parenthood will close six of its clinics in Indiana by the end of the year. But it won't affect the availability of abortion services in the state.
The women's health provider will close its Muncie and Terre Haute clinics this month, and merge four others with nearby neighbors.
None of the locations that are shutting down provide abortions, which are only available in 4 percent of Indiana counties -- compared to 11 percent nationwide.
The only Planned Parenthood clinic that's affected by the closures and offers the procedure is Merrillville, which will take on Valparaiso's patients when that clinic closes July 21.
The clinic in Fishers will merge with Indianapolis' Eastside clinic on July 26, and Avon's clinic will consolidate with Indy's Southside location on Aug. 30. F
East Chicago will consolidate with Gary at the end of the year, on Dec. 15.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky CEO Betty Cockrum says the closures are due a decline in their number of patients.
"And we characterize those changes as mission wins, because they're actually favorable for our patients," she says.
She says their clinics are conducting 90 percent fewer pap smears -- down from 60,000 a year to 6,000, since women were advised that they only need to get the test every three years.
And Cockrum says Planned Parenthood is dealing with fewer unplanned pregnancies, because emergency contraception is now offered over the counter.
But she says the four clinics taking on new patients will expand their hours. Patients in Muncie, which closed Friday, and Terre Haute, which closes July 20, will be referred to other nearby clinics.