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Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo Planned Parenthood offices merge (Detroit Free Press)

Published January 6, 2012, by the Detroit Free Press.

By Megha Satyanarayana, Detroit Free Press Staff Writer

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Published: 01.06.12| Updated: 01.09.12

A merger of Planned Parenthood affiliates has brought an office that oversees clinics in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek under the same administration as those in metro Detroit.

Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan CEO Lori Lamerand said the consolidation, after years of reduced federal, state and private sources, will end administrative redundancy and allow the organization to use more resources to care for the roughly 70,000 patients expected to be seen in 2012.

"The merger is a win-win," she said. "It's the most responsible use of our limited funding."

The merger of the Mid and South Michigan affiliate in Ann Arbor and the South Central Michigan affiliate in Kalamazoo comes after that affiliate closed clinics in Sturgis, Coldwater and Three Rivers in October and December. The Ann Arbor affiliate already oversees clinics in southeast Michigan, Benton Harbor and the Lansing, Flint and Saginaw areas.

Planned Parenthood, which provides primary, gynecological and men's health care, is often criticized for its abortion services, which are not available at every clinic and which Lamerand said make up a small percentage of overall services.

Meanwhile, abortion opponents have fought to delay the opening of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Auburn Hills. Despite approval from city officials, anti-abortion-rights groups are funding a legal battle that centers on the interpretation of restrictions of what can be built on the property. There is a hearing Tuesday in Oakland County Circuit Court.

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