News

Mountain View Planned Parenthood needs new home

Health clinic's lease to expire in May; Supervisors vote to aid in search for new location

The Planned Parenthood Mountain View Health Center soon could be losing its home at the corner of San Antonio Road and California Street. The health clinic's lease is set to expire in May, and might have to close its doors as soon as this year.

The loss of the lease is due to pending redevelopment in the larger San Antonio area, including the commercial building that houses Planned Parenthood and several other businesses. After May, the lease will be month-to-month until it's shut down and redeveloped, according to Linda Williams, president and CEO of the regional Planned Parenthood Mar Monte.

Williams said the regional Planned Parenthood organization has been working hard to find a new place for years, but it's been a tough and fruitless endeavor so far. Potential properties on Moffett Boulevard and El Camino Real fell through, because city parking regulations for medical offices made both options infeasible.

"We've been looking for alternate property for some time, but that is very difficult to find in Mountain View," she said. "It can't just be any place, it has to have good foot traffic potential and good transit options."

Although best known for providing abortion services, Planned Parenthood provides a range of health care services including prenatal care, pregnancy tests, contraception, sexually transmitted disease testing, breast cancer screening and a slew of education programs. Abortion procedures make up about 3 percent of the total services provided by the national Planned Parenthood organization in 2014, according to the nonprofit's website.

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The Mountain View center also serves as a neighborhood clinic, offering primary care for men, women and families.

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors agreed to find ways the county can step in to help keep the doors open at the Mountain View facility. County Executive Jeffrey Smith said staff will try to work with the property owner on a deal to extend the lease until a new location is found for the clinic. If no extension is made, it's going to put even greater pressure on the county and Planned Parenthood to act quickly, Smith said.

More than a dozen speakers gave emotional pleas for the county to do what it can to preserve what they described as an important health care institution in the North County that serves some of the most needy residents, teens as well as poor and immigrant families.

Linda Lenoir, who just recently retired after serving as a nurse at Palo Alto Unified School District for 26 years, told the board that one of the biggest barriers to people receiving health care is access, and that she's referred many families and students to the Planned Parenthood clinic in Mountain View for preventive care and other important services.

Other health clinics in the area are packed, she said, and if Planned Parenthood closes, many residents would be left with no other option but the emergency room.

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"We are going to be overloading a system that's already overloaded."

Kit Miller, who teaches English to immigrant women in Mountain View about five blocks from the clinic, said the families she works with rely on Planned Parenthood for health care. Planned Parenthood is crucial for undocumented families, she said, who may have no other option because of their immigration status.

The Mountain View clinic first opened its doors in 1973, and serves more than 8,000 patients, with 14,000 visits each year. Most of the women are Santa Clara County residents, and many of them rely on affordable health services provided by the clinic. Only 24 percent of the patients are eligible for Medi-Cal, even though 70 percent of the clinic's patients earn less than 138 percent of the federal poverty limit, according to the county report. Without the Mountain View clinic, it's unlikely other nearby Planned Parenthood facilities could bear the brunt of a major influx of new patients.

"Given the large patient volume at this clinic, and the high demand for primary care and reproductive services, it is unlikely there is enough excess capacity in other area health centers to absorb those affected by the clinic’s closure," according to the county report.

Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian said the Planned Parenthood clinic plays an integral role in providing health care to the North County. On top of the reproductive and women's health services, a total of 2,131 residents on the county's Valley Health Plan rely on the Mountain View facility for primary care. There is no county health clinic within the North County or West Valley regions of the county to pick up the slack, Simitian said.

"We've been pushing hard these last four years to expand health care options for North County residents with some success," Simitian said. "But this would be a real blow, not just to North County residents, but folks who work in Mountain view and the surrounding communities"

The potential of losing the Planned Parenthood facility in Mountain View couldn't have come at a worse time, Simitian said. There's a national effort underway by the new administration in Washington to defund Planned Parenthood as a national organization. Over the course of the election last year, President Donald Trump said he wanted to take away Planned Parenthood's funding and signaled that the landmark decision making abortion legal, Roe v. Wade, ought to be overturned. During his first few days in office, Trump re-instituted a policy blocking federal funding for international organizations that provide abortion services.

Following the election, Williams wrote in a letter that Planned Parenthood is under siege by all three branches of government, and that the nonprofit will face efforts to defund, discredit and destroy the nonprofit over the next four years. Although she admits that Planned Parenthood Mar Monte will face "relentless attacks" during the Trump administration, she said it will find a way to persevere.

"We have never deserted the people who trust us to serve them, and we won't desert them now. No matter how great the threat, our commitment to them has never wavered," Williams said in the letter.

If the Mountain View clinic closes, Planned Parenthood would lose its presence in the north county, forcing patients seeking its services to travel to either Redwood City or San Jose. Williams said she is confident that Santa Clara County will find a way to preserve Planned Parenthood's services in Mountain View, and has no intent of letting Washington slow them down.

"We are committed to Mountain View," she said. "Our services are there and available to them, and we have no plans to let Congress or any other body shut us down."

Smith told the county Board of Supervisors that there's been no action by the Trump administration to defund Planned Parenthood yet, but that the county's legal team will be ready to step in and fight to keep that money.

"A large team in the county counsel's office has done all the research about how we can intervene legally if that action is taken," he said. "If there was an attack on health care and health of the county residents, we would definitely have to proceed rapidly to protect them."

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Mountain View Planned Parenthood needs new home

Health clinic's lease to expire in May; Supervisors vote to aid in search for new location

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Fri, Feb 3, 2017, 4:29 pm
Updated: Tue, Feb 7, 2017, 11:17 am

The Planned Parenthood Mountain View Health Center soon could be losing its home at the corner of San Antonio Road and California Street. The health clinic's lease is set to expire in May, and might have to close its doors as soon as this year.

The loss of the lease is due to pending redevelopment in the larger San Antonio area, including the commercial building that houses Planned Parenthood and several other businesses. After May, the lease will be month-to-month until it's shut down and redeveloped, according to Linda Williams, president and CEO of the regional Planned Parenthood Mar Monte.

Williams said the regional Planned Parenthood organization has been working hard to find a new place for years, but it's been a tough and fruitless endeavor so far. Potential properties on Moffett Boulevard and El Camino Real fell through, because city parking regulations for medical offices made both options infeasible.

"We've been looking for alternate property for some time, but that is very difficult to find in Mountain View," she said. "It can't just be any place, it has to have good foot traffic potential and good transit options."

Although best known for providing abortion services, Planned Parenthood provides a range of health care services including prenatal care, pregnancy tests, contraception, sexually transmitted disease testing, breast cancer screening and a slew of education programs. Abortion procedures make up about 3 percent of the total services provided by the national Planned Parenthood organization in 2014, according to the nonprofit's website.

The Mountain View center also serves as a neighborhood clinic, offering primary care for men, women and families.

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors agreed to find ways the county can step in to help keep the doors open at the Mountain View facility. County Executive Jeffrey Smith said staff will try to work with the property owner on a deal to extend the lease until a new location is found for the clinic. If no extension is made, it's going to put even greater pressure on the county and Planned Parenthood to act quickly, Smith said.

More than a dozen speakers gave emotional pleas for the county to do what it can to preserve what they described as an important health care institution in the North County that serves some of the most needy residents, teens as well as poor and immigrant families.

Linda Lenoir, who just recently retired after serving as a nurse at Palo Alto Unified School District for 26 years, told the board that one of the biggest barriers to people receiving health care is access, and that she's referred many families and students to the Planned Parenthood clinic in Mountain View for preventive care and other important services.

Other health clinics in the area are packed, she said, and if Planned Parenthood closes, many residents would be left with no other option but the emergency room.

"We are going to be overloading a system that's already overloaded."

Kit Miller, who teaches English to immigrant women in Mountain View about five blocks from the clinic, said the families she works with rely on Planned Parenthood for health care. Planned Parenthood is crucial for undocumented families, she said, who may have no other option because of their immigration status.

The Mountain View clinic first opened its doors in 1973, and serves more than 8,000 patients, with 14,000 visits each year. Most of the women are Santa Clara County residents, and many of them rely on affordable health services provided by the clinic. Only 24 percent of the patients are eligible for Medi-Cal, even though 70 percent of the clinic's patients earn less than 138 percent of the federal poverty limit, according to the county report. Without the Mountain View clinic, it's unlikely other nearby Planned Parenthood facilities could bear the brunt of a major influx of new patients.

"Given the large patient volume at this clinic, and the high demand for primary care and reproductive services, it is unlikely there is enough excess capacity in other area health centers to absorb those affected by the clinic’s closure," according to the county report.

Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian said the Planned Parenthood clinic plays an integral role in providing health care to the North County. On top of the reproductive and women's health services, a total of 2,131 residents on the county's Valley Health Plan rely on the Mountain View facility for primary care. There is no county health clinic within the North County or West Valley regions of the county to pick up the slack, Simitian said.

"We've been pushing hard these last four years to expand health care options for North County residents with some success," Simitian said. "But this would be a real blow, not just to North County residents, but folks who work in Mountain view and the surrounding communities"

The potential of losing the Planned Parenthood facility in Mountain View couldn't have come at a worse time, Simitian said. There's a national effort underway by the new administration in Washington to defund Planned Parenthood as a national organization. Over the course of the election last year, President Donald Trump said he wanted to take away Planned Parenthood's funding and signaled that the landmark decision making abortion legal, Roe v. Wade, ought to be overturned. During his first few days in office, Trump re-instituted a policy blocking federal funding for international organizations that provide abortion services.

Following the election, Williams wrote in a letter that Planned Parenthood is under siege by all three branches of government, and that the nonprofit will face efforts to defund, discredit and destroy the nonprofit over the next four years. Although she admits that Planned Parenthood Mar Monte will face "relentless attacks" during the Trump administration, she said it will find a way to persevere.

"We have never deserted the people who trust us to serve them, and we won't desert them now. No matter how great the threat, our commitment to them has never wavered," Williams said in the letter.

If the Mountain View clinic closes, Planned Parenthood would lose its presence in the north county, forcing patients seeking its services to travel to either Redwood City or San Jose. Williams said she is confident that Santa Clara County will find a way to preserve Planned Parenthood's services in Mountain View, and has no intent of letting Washington slow them down.

"We are committed to Mountain View," she said. "Our services are there and available to them, and we have no plans to let Congress or any other body shut us down."

Smith told the county Board of Supervisors that there's been no action by the Trump administration to defund Planned Parenthood yet, but that the county's legal team will be ready to step in and fight to keep that money.

"A large team in the county counsel's office has done all the research about how we can intervene legally if that action is taken," he said. "If there was an attack on health care and health of the county residents, we would definitely have to proceed rapidly to protect them."

Comments

Liz
Shoreline West
on Feb 3, 2017 at 7:48 pm
Liz, Shoreline West
on Feb 3, 2017 at 7:48 pm

If you read this article and all you got from it was "abortion is going away, yippee!" there is something wrong with you. Only 3 percent of the services provided by Planned Parenthood are abortion-related. This single location of Planned Parenthood provides affordable health care to thousands of people who are living near or below the poverty line. If it closes, it will be a tremendous loss to this community, where so many impoverished people live in the shadows of tech company wealth. Have some compassion, for goodness sake.


Excuse me?
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2017 at 7:52 pm
Excuse me?, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2017 at 7:52 pm

This location doesn't provide abortions, but it does provide necessary health care and contraception for our community.


Trumpers
Blossom Valley
on Feb 3, 2017 at 8:10 pm
Trumpers, Blossom Valley
on Feb 3, 2017 at 8:10 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


reader
Waverly Park
on Feb 3, 2017 at 9:08 pm
reader, Waverly Park
on Feb 3, 2017 at 9:08 pm

Damned developers and rent increases pushing out the stores and services that we use and love. Make way for more upscale restaurants and "luxury" apartment towers.


Sarah1000
Registered user
another community
on Feb 4, 2017 at 7:51 pm
Sarah1000, another community
Registered user
on Feb 4, 2017 at 7:51 pm

To support Supervisor Simitian's efforts to help this Planned Parenthood site find a near-by location, please sign the petition @
Web Link Thank you!


accuracy
Registered user
another community
on Feb 6, 2017 at 4:54 pm
accuracy, another community
Registered user
on Feb 6, 2017 at 4:54 pm

The website for Planned Parenthood in Mountain View includes "abortions services" in the services provided.


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