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The Planned Parenthood clinic in Merrillville recently established a new program that should further distance itself from an image fostered by critics who claim its prime function is performing abortions.
This week, the clinic became the third in Indiana to offer free services promoting adoption. The clinic joins a handful of centers nationwide in offering on-site counselors from a local adoption agency.
"Our mission is to provide women with options, to give them information so they can make good decisions for themselves and their families," said Liz Carroll, vice president of patient services for Planned Parenthood of Indiana.
Two adoptions already have been completed at the Indianapolis Planned Parenthood clinic.
The Merrillville clinic established a partnership with The Adoption Center for Family Building, and the regional branch of the adoption center relocated from Munster to the Merrillville clinic.
Planned Parenthood dedicates itself to the reproductive health of women. Performing abortions is one of many services it offers. But services often overlooked include family planning, Pap tests and information and education services about sexually transmitted diseases. The clinic now can add adoption counseling to the list of services it provides.
Deciding to have an abortion is one of the most painful and difficult decisions a woman ever has to make.
No matter how distasteful it may be to some, it is a right afforded to women by the Supreme Court.
The recent step by Merrillville's Planned Parenthood to offer adoption services to women considering their options at a critical time is a positive one that should be supported by both sides of the abortion issue.