Security issues keeping Planned Parenthood’s Appleton clinic closed

Planned Parenthood says an Appleton clinic that provided access to abortion services will remain closed due to security issues.

The clinic was one of three Planned Parenthood facilities providing such services in the state. The remaining two are in Milwaukee and Madison.

Services at the Appleton clinic temporarily were suspended last fall due to staffing issues. The clinic remained closed following the shooting at a Colorado clinic in November as Planned Parenthood conducted a security review.

Last November, a gunman at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic killed three people and injured nine. The man faces 179 felony counts, including murder and attempted murder.

“The security issue became paramount,” said Chris Williams, COO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

Planned Parenthood conducted an evaluation of building security and security protocol and determined “the Appleton facility was just not going to be able to meet the stringent … approach that we need to take,” said Williams. Similar reviews were conducted at facilities in other parts of the country.

Another Planned Parenthood facility in the city, where patients can access health care services other than abortions, will continue to operate.

Williams said there are constant threats against Planned Parenthood sites and the clinic in Appleton, over the years, has been the target of “numerous threats and acts of violence.”

Teri Huyck, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, said, “This was a tough decision to make.”

She said Planned Parenthood is “doing everything we can to minimize the impact on our patients,” some of whom might have to travel 200-300 miles to the Milwaukee or Madison clinics.

Such assistance may require help with travel costs and overnight says.

Williams said about 600 patents went to the Appleton North clinic in 2014.

He said the cost to upgrade security at the facility was about $300,000 — two times the assessed value of the building.

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