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Bettendorf clinic bracing for more clients after Planned Parenthood defunding vote

BETTENDORF -- The Women's Choice Center serves more than 2,000 clients each year. These numbers are likely to climb as Iowa prepares to de-fund abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.

"In reality, these monies are just being diverted to other women's health centers," said Women's Choice Center Executive Director Vicki Tyler, on February 3, 2017.  "These women can get the same care."

While its services are free, there is a big difference: no contraceptives or abortions.

After the Iowa Senate voted to block funding to Planned Parenthood, the organization is "gravely disappointed" by what it calls an "extremist bill."

"What this will take away is crucial health care services to low income Iowans," said Rachel Lopez, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.  "And that's shameful."

In his final Condition of the State Address, Gov. Terry Branstad warned of service cuts.

"Eliminating taxpayer funding for organizations that provide abortions," he said.

Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds echoed the plan, saying Iowa's action will mirror upcoming federal restrictions while improving access to care.

"There's over 200 providers throughout the state of Iowa that can provide high quality care for women," she said.

But since no tax dollars pay for abortions, Planned Parenthood argues that the legislation is an "outrageous guise."

"Taking away this funding will not touch abortions," Lopez said.  "Planned Parenthood of the Heartland will continue to provide abortions.  It's safe.  It's legal."

The Iowa House is expected to pass the legislation, which will get the governor's signature.

The Women's Choice Center now offers a mobile medical unit that offers free care in Iowa and Illinois communities.

"They're actually going to have more opportunities for that care here in the state of Iowa," Tyler concluded.

Care, though, that comes with restrictions.