The telephone number for the Planned Parenthood of Illinois Effingham Health Center at 415 West Virginia has a message that it is closed, effective September 2016. The "Planned Parenthood" sign out front is gone.
A note on the back door directs those needing records or services to the Planned Parenthood of Illinois Champaign Health Center at 302 East Stoughton in Champaign.
Planned Parenthood of Illinois said that Aug. 30 was the last day it offered services in Effingham and it will be consolidating with the PPIL Champaign Health Center.
“Consolidating these two centers allows PPIL to use resources most effectively by meeting our patients where the deman is the greatest,” said Linda Shapiro, Interim Chief Executive Officer. “Demand in Effingham has continued to drop.”
The agency provided well-person care and preventive family planning services, including birth control, pregnancy testing, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, and breast cancer screening, said Shapiro, in an email. The agency's website list services as abortion referral, birth control, HIV testing, Men's Health Care and Morning After Pill. It also provided pregnancy testing, STD testing, treatment and vaccines and women's health care.
Rob McKerrow said he was one of a group of three to six people who would meet there each Tuesday, which was the only day they were opened recently. In the beginning, they were open more days each week.
“I guess we finally wore them down,” said McKerrow. “Yesterday we learned they were packing up at closing time.”
Planned Parenthood officials said protests had nothing to do with the decision to consolidate.
McKerrow said he and the group he joined believed in helping women choose an alternative to abortion.
“All they're doing is advising about abortion and passing out pills,” said McKerrow. “The whole idea is that you can get rid of a child, and that's murder.”