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Western Wisconsin clinics merge with Planned Parenthood

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — Three health clinics in western Wisconsin will become Planned Parenthood sites Aug. 19 as a result of a merger.

None of the Essential Health Clinics in La Crosse, Sparta or Blair will offer abortions, but they could in the future. Of Planned Parenthood’s 21 existing clinics in Wisconsin, only those in Madison, Milwaukee and Sheboygan offer abortions.

The La Crosse Tribune reported on Friday that Planned Parenthood has been working with the three clinics for decades and talks of a merger began in recent months. The clinics will offer birth control by mail, the scheduling of online appointment, greater access to commercial insurance coverage, assessments of early-pregnancy complications and access to the HPV vaccine.

Julaine Appling, president of the anti-abortion group Wisconsin Family Action, calls the merger regrettable because it strengthens Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin.

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