Reader: “Important to support” new Planned Parenthood location in Visalia

When I was in my 20s and just starting out as an engineering lab technician, I relied on Planned Parenthood Mar Monte in Fresno for health care. I’m guessing we all know someone who has gone to Planned Parenthood for medical services and been grateful that it’s there.

This is why it’s so important to support the new Planned Parenthood health center that’s set to open in Visalia on South Mooney Blvd.

The new center will be much larger than the one Planned Parenthood has successfully operated for years in Visalia. And we need it. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2019 report on women’s health, Tulare County residents have among the lowest income levels in the state, and the county is near last place in number of health care providers per resident. We also have among the state’s highest rates of STIs and unintended pregnancies.

The conditional use permit (CUP) for this new site was approved unanimously by the Visalia planning commission. The health center is also aligned with the 2017-2022 Tulare County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and is vital to people who live here.

However, a neighboring property owner has objected to the health center and filed an appeal to block it because he says there will be parking congestion. But the planning commission already closely studied how the center would impact the neighborhood and found no issue with parking. As you know, there is plenty of parking at the Sequoia Mall, near the site’s location.

Now, the Visalia City Council is set to vote at their February 7 meeting whether to allow the health center to open its doors at the Mooney location. And the answer should be clear. [Editor’s note: the meeting most likely has been continued. New date TBA.]

Consider that this health new center will have 10 health care providers and will be open Monday through Saturday for people who have a hard time getting to the doctor when they have full-time jobs or kids at home. Imagine how many people in our county will be able to get health care who wouldn’t be able to get it anywhere else.

Like me, are you a past Planned Parenthood patient? Do you want these services available to all of us, our children, and our grandchildren? I do.

Have you driven by any of the hamlets in Tulare County lately, where tough times and a long drought may mean money has run out? You can guess that health care may seem like a luxury for people there, when they are struggling just to buy bottled water since their wells have dried up or were contaminated. Don’t they deserve to have access to care at this new health center – quality preventive care that they can afford?

Everyone is welcome at Planned Parenthood, regardless of income, insurance, or zip code. This should be especially important to people who live here, considering a recent study found that about 70 percent of patients at Planned Parenthood’s current, much smaller Visalia health center are living at the federal poverty level – barely over $24,000 a year for a family of four.

As a member of our community, I believe we can and should support our neighbors, especially those who have been battered by the pandemic and the drought, by standing up for affordable access health care that everyone deserves. It’s essential and compassionate care for all of us, and that’s what makes communities strong.

I urge you to join me, and contact your Visalia City Council member to support granting a conditional use permit to Planned Parenthood’s new health center in our city.

9 thoughts on “Reader: “Important to support” new Planned Parenthood location in Visalia

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  1. I will volunteer to help make this happen. So important for so many women. PP was a life saver for me when I was young.

  2. Planned Parenthood was also a life saver for me in my early days, so much so that I volunteered at the Tulare clinic in the evenings. They have provided much needed health care for women and men and that need continues.

  3. The community does not need this family and life destructive service. It has shown itself as preying on low income areas to maximize its profits. Every community that has one eventually falls into a growth decay with customers entering a revolving door with no hope to escape. I saw this happen to several communities, and we don’t need that here.

    • Planned Parenthood has been providing these same services to the community of Visalia for many years now. They are an established and proven asset to the Visalia community. The Visalia City Council should stand by their original decision and allow Planned Parenthood to open its new clinic at the Mooney Blvd. location.

  4. I am so glad to see expansion of medical services here in Tulare County. I received contraceptives as a college student from Planned Parenthood Mar Monte. Without that access I would not be able to provide for my daughter like I am today.

  5. Planned Parenthood commits abortions. Science has clearly shown that the unborn are human with a right to have a voice and to be empowered to live. As a former adoption worker, I can guarantee you I could find a home for every one of these babies if allowed to live if the mother did not feel capable or willing to parent them herself.By the way we have several Family Health Care clinics here which serve low income people and provide a wide array of medical services but do not offer abortions. We need to expand them and not Planned Parenthood. .

  6. Thank you to everyone who opposed this location on Mooney blvd. This speaks to the difference we can make when we are allowed to speak. I’m confident they will find an alternative location, if more space is the need, but I prefer to medical services locate one property and the corner of Cypress and Akers where they provide a plural of medical services is the best example I can provide. The city will zone areas for industrial parks, so why not zone property thats suitable to build a medical park. I dunno if its worthy, but I thought I would float the idea?

  7. I’m confident they will find an alternative location, if more space is the need, but I prefer to medical services locate one property and the corner of Cypress and Akers where they provide a plural of medical services is the best example I can provide. The city will zone areas for industrial parks, so why not zone property thats suitable to build a medical park. I dunno if its worthy, but I thought I would float the idea?

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