MINNEAPOLIS, June 21 (UPI) -- Federal budget cuts made during a highly politicized battle over abortion will mean closing six Planned Parenthood clinics in Minnesota, the organization said.
Citing an 11 percent reduction in its budget because of cuts to the federal Title X program, Planned Parenthood announced the closures Monday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Clients of the closed clinics in Thief River Falls, Brainerd, Red Wing, Owatonna, Albert Lea and Fairmont will be encouraged to use any of the 18 remaining Planned Parenthood facilities in the state, the organization said.
The loss of family planning services in the affected communities could increase state healthcare costs and drive up the number of abortions, said Sarah Stoesz, executive director of Planned Parenthood's chapter for Minnesota and the Dakotas.
"Those who attack family planning programs under the guise of being opposed to abortion are creating the exact opposite effect and driving abortion rates up," she said.
Planned Parenthood had received about $3 million of the $3.5 million in Title X funds going to Minnesota annually.
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