FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Planned Parenthood in Fayetteville has suspended all abortion services, leaving the closest clinic available more than one hundred miles away.
The clinic, located at 3729 N Crossover Road, has stopped providing abortions at its facility while it looks for a new location. This is so it can schedule follow-up visits for all medication abortion patients, prior to closing.
The last day patients will be seen at the Fayetteville location will be July 25.
The decision was made amid challenges including protester presence and safety concerns for patients and staff.
Court documents say the clinic contacted dozens of landlords, management companies, and property owners, and some landlords were unwilling to rent to Planned Parenthood in light of ongoing high-profile disputes over abortion.
“For instance, an anti-abortion ‘crisis pregnancy center’ organization began parking its van in a lot immediately adjacent to the one used by our health center. Staff and patients were alarmed and distressed by the van’s presence, and we were also concerned about medically inaccurate information being directed at patients,” the document said.
Planned parenthood said it will be in its new location in the coming months, but hasn’t said where that will be.
The other Planned Parenthood location is in Little Rock. It also provides medication abortions, otherwise known as an abortion pill, up to 9 weeks after the start of a woman’s last menstrual period.
The only other abortion provider in the state is Little Rock Family Planning services, which provides medical abortion and surgical abortion care up to 21 weeks.
In April, legislation requiring women to wait 72 hours before having an abortion was sent to Governor Asa Hutchinson for his signature.
This would make Arkansas the sixth state with a 72-hour waiting period.
Oklahoma and Missouri are among the other states that have the waiting period.
“We are working to notify patients and ensure they can access care from alternative providers while we are closed. Planned Parenthood Great Plains staff are working diligently to relocate our health center and reopen as quickly as possible so we can resume the full range of services our patients depend on us for.”
– Emily Miller, Planned Parenthood Great Plains
Planned Parenthood provides a range of sexual and reproductive health services including birth control, STI tests and treatment, transgender care, and primary care.
Nearly 2,000 patients are seen in Northwest Arkansas each year.
Rep. Nicole Clowney says she hopes the facility can find a new location quickly.
“Planned Parenthood provides a lot of really critical services to Arkansas women, and the fact that we have ripped that from them is heartbreaking and it’s frustrating,” she said.