Planned Parenthood is proud to provide care, no matter what. This includes providing services in politically conservative areas where local elected officials spread their own narrative about a lack of community support for the services we provide.
In reality, places like our Twin Falls Health Center see more than 1,500 patients annually.
“Because it’s such a conservative area, some people are afraid to talk about Planned Parenthood, while other elements in the community are spreading a lot of misinformation,” said our Twin Falls Health Center Manager. “It leads people to think we only provide abortions, instead of a wide range of health care, or to think we don’t accept insurance or Medicaid – when we do! But when people know who we really are and what we really do, then they see there’s a great need for our services.”
Twin Falls is a small city in south central Idaho with just under 50,000 people in it, making it the largest city in an otherwise highly rural valley.
Twin Falls is growing rapidly, and its population is becoming more ethnically diverse as well as more divided politically and socioeconomically. That’s why Planned Parenthood’s services, and culture of providing care — no matter what — is so needed, and in high demand.
“We see a lot of people wanting to come in for an appointment — a lot of people driving in from neighboring areas. Right now, we’re actually seeing a lot of patients who are coming to us because appointments aren’t available with their primary care provider because of COVID-19 demands and restrictions,” the center’s manager said. “The need for care never goes away.”
The health center is not open on Mondays and can only be open on Thursdays intermittently. “We have one medical receptionist, one medical assistant and one clinician. We’re a small but mighty team. We show up for one another every day, because our patients need us there,” she said.
“The patients want us here, the community wants us here, and we want to be able to show up to serve them as much as possible,” the Twin Falls Health Center manager concluded.
For instance, Twin Falls saw the largest increase per capita of patients receiving gender-affirming hormone therapy when first introduced, which speaks volumes to the real need for services.
Earlier this year, some of the largest employers in Twin Falls — Chobani and Clif Bar — joined Boise area businesses Micron and HP to pen an open letter to the Senate Affairs Committee in vehement opposition to two anti-transgender bills pushed through the state’s Republican-led legislature. It's a stunning display of solidarity, especially considering that just the year prior, Twin Falls City Council considered legislation that would make abortion illegal within city limits. It failed by only one vote.
Idahoans have had to fight against several anti-choice proposals in recent years. In addition to the anti-transgender bills, Idaho passed a bill that would have automatically made abortion illegal in Idaho if the Supreme Court ruled against access to abortion in the June Medical Services v. Russo decision. It also attempted to “defund Planned Parenthood” again, ban all abortions completely with no exceptions, and successfully made a law that prints pro-life vanity plates that fund anti-abortion nonprofits while also shooting down a bill that would have printed “Too Great for Hate” vanity plates.