ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Planned Parenthood re-emerged into Abilene. While it might not be a physical presence, it’s a virtual one and it’s a controversial announcement.
Planned Parenthood is making their return to the Big Country, but this time from the palm of your hand. After the Texas Legislature defunded Planned Parenthood in 2011, it wasn’t long before every clinic in West Texas closed its doors.
“Your closest one is going to be in El Paso or Fort Worth,” Planned Parenthood Patient Advocate Aubrey Reinhardt said.
Reinhardt went to school in Lubbock and says she didn’t have access to low cost care.
“So I had to drive to Fort Worth to get that care so I’m grateful that I had the ability to travel and i had the time and the money to do it but a lot of people don’t,” Reinhardt said.
Hoping to bridge that gap, the company launched an app called Planned Parenthood Direct to provide low cost birth control and UTI treatments. With just a touch of a button, these medications can be delivered right to the patient’s front door.
“This puts the power back in the hands of patients to be able to get that care with out having to travel or having to try and find a clinic to go to,” Reinhardt said.
Not everyone, however, supports this new service to the area.
“We don’t want them in Abilene. We don’t want them in the Big Country. We don’t want them in West Texas,” West Texans For Life President Dr. James Sulliman said.
While the app has nothing to do directly with abortions, Dr. Sulliman says the money still goes to a company that performs them.
“I have concerns about anything that brings a penny into Planned Parenthood which allows them to keep their doors open and to continue killing babies,” Dr. Sulliman said.
He said there are plenty of other options when it comes to low cost healthcare for women, including a Healthy Texas Women’s Program.
“With 40 clinics within a 50 mile radius of Abilene and all over the state that is there to take care of women regardless of income,” Dr. Sulliman said.
While that solution requires a trip to a healthcare provider, Planned Parenthood says its option provides women birth control or UTI medication with out ever leaving their homes.
“That’s something that seemed so out of reach but now it’s made available because of the Planned Parenthood Direct app, so it’s very exciting for West Texas citizens,” Reinhardt said.
Even still, Dr. Sulliman says those who support this app in the form of advertising or even use, support everything Planned Parenthood does.
“It’s supporting the intentional killing of babies,” Dr. Sulliman said.
Dr. Sulliman believes this isn’t a religious issue but in fact a Civil Rights issue and says everyone has the right to life. The app is currently in the app store.