Planned Parenthood in Logan reopens after staffing woes

The only clinic in Utah to offer abortion care outside the Salt Lake Valley closed in March and is now open three days a week.

(Jacob Scholl | The Salt Lake Tribune) A poster hanging on the Logan Planned Parenthood clinic door on June 12, 2023, says the facility is "temporarily closed." Several months after shutting its doors, the clinic opened again in late July.

After a monthslong hiatus, the sole clinic to offer abortions outside Salt Lake County reopened on Thursday.

The Planned Parenthood clinic in Logan — located a short walk from Utah State University on Main Street — has opened its doors again after it closed in March due to staffing shortages. According to data provided by Planned Parenthood, the clinic served over 2,000 patients last year.

“We are thrilled to reopen the Logan Health Center ahead of schedule,” said Planned Parenthood Association of Utah CEO Kathryn Boyd in a statement Thursday. When The Salt Lake Tribune reported the closure in June, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood said the clinic planned to reopen on Aug. 1.

“Our team has been working diligently to ensure a seamless transition and to provide the necessary resources for the community,” Boyd continued.

A 20-minute drive from the border of Idaho — a state with one of the strictest abortion bans in the country — the clinic offers medicated abortion, not abortion procedures. The college town clinic also offers an affordable option for an array of other reproductive health care services, like testing for sexually transmitted diseases and birth control.

As more states have enacted abortion restrictions in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, the ruling that protected abortion access as a constitutional right, many have seen a shortage in reproductive health care providers.

The American Association of Medical Colleges observed that nationwide there was a 5.2% drop in medical students applying to OB-GYN residencies last year and that the decrease was most pronounced in states with abortion bans and gestational limits. In Idaho, so many OB-GYNs have left after the state passed laws criminalizing abortion that two hospitals have had to halt labor and delivery services.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Kathryn Boyd, new CEO of Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, gets ready to cut the ribbon for the grand opening celebration of its Ogden clinic, which has moved to a bigger space, on Wednesday, July 12, 2023.

Utah passed a trigger law in 2020 that bans abortion with limited exceptions. It went into effect after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization last year, but was blocked by a judge within a few days after Planned Parenthood Association of Utah filed a lawsuit challenging it.

The case is currently in front of the Utah Supreme Court, which will hear oral arguments Aug. 8.

Another law passed this year that bans abortion clinics was likewise put on hold by a district court judge as part of the same lawsuit.

Under its new provider, the website for Logan’s Planned Parenthood location says it is now open three days a week. Prior to the closure, it had been open four days a week, according to a February snapshot of the web page on the Internet Archive.

Three other clinics in the state — two in Salt Lake City and one in Millcreek — offer abortion care. Planned Parenthood Association of Utah recently moved its Ogden clinic to a larger location and is considering the possibility of offering medicated abortion there.