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With the Reproductive Health Act now in effect, health center is now able to provide procedural abortion care

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Planned Parenthood’s Irwin/Martin health center in Grand Rapids is stepping in to help tackle West Michigan’s abortion access crisis by expanding its services to include procedural abortion care. The move was made possible by Michigan’s Reproductive Health Act, which was signed into law late last year and went into effect Feb. 13. The center is the sole procedural abortion provider in Grand Rapids and one of only two in West Michigan.

“While many states are erecting barriers to abortion access, Michiganders have worked to tear them down, and we’re grateful to Gov. Whitmer and leaders in the state legislature for recognizing the dire need to remove restrictions that have remained on the books,” said Paula Thornton Greear, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Michigan. “With many of these barriers lifted, our Grand Rapids health center is now able to provide procedural abortions for our patients in addition to medication abortions, and I’m proud of our staff members who make this new service possible through their dedication to providing confidential, high-quality care every day.”

Medication abortion is a safe and effective way to end a pregnancy up to 11 weeks by using a pill or combination of pills prescribed by a medical provider. Procedural abortion takes place at a health care facility and is another option for ending a pregnancy, particularly those beyond 11 weeks. Medication abortions are available at all 14 PPMI health centers, and procedural abortions are now provided at four locations: Ann Arbor, Flint, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids.

For many years, the abortion care needs of the Grand Rapids community were met by the medication abortion services provided by the Irwin/Martin Health Center coupled with the abortions provided at the nearby Heritage Clinic for Women.

However, the Heritage Clinic for Women closed unexpectedly in August 2023, leaving Grand Rapids residents without a procedural abortion provider for the past six months. The closest procedural abortion facility in West Michigan is in Kalamazoo, which has been experiencing an influx of out-of-state patients, notably from Indiana, who have been forced to travel due to abortion bans in their states. This has created delays for patients seeking this time-sensitive care at Planned Parenthood’s Kalamazoo health center, forcing some West Michigan residents to travel to Southeast Michigan or Chicago for procedural abortions.

“My patients deserve the freedom to access the full spectrum of abortion care they need without having to travel to another state or even city, and that’s why we’re proud to add procedural abortion as an option right here in Grand Rapids,” said Dr. Sarah Wallett, Chief Medical Operating Officer for Planned Parenthood of Michigan. “We’re grateful that several harmful, politically-motivated restrictions officially ended earlier this month, allowing us the opportunity to better meet the needs of our patients, including Black, LGBTQ, low-income and rural Michiganders – all of whom face additional barriers to accessing care.”

Until now, Michigan’s Targeted Restrictions of Abortion Providers (TRAP laws) had prevented the Irwin/Martin health center from providing procedural abortion care in its current building. TRAP laws were designed to close down health facilities that provide abortions by imposing costly and medically unnecessary building requirements. These regulations included rules on hallway widths, ceiling heights, HVAC systems, down-to-the-inch dimensions for operating rooms, janitors’ closets, and more. With these TRAP laws lifted, more health centers across the state are able to consider expanding their services.


Planned Parenthood offers affordable reproductive health care for all people through medical services, education and advocacy and is the nation’s leading sexual and reproductive health care advocate and provider. Planned Parenthood of Michigan operates health centers across the state, providing medical services and sexuality education for nearly 60,000 Michiganders each year.


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