ROGERS -- Planned Parenthood Great Plains announced its return to Northwest Arkansas with a state-of-the-art health center in Rogers, according to a news release from the organization.
Jess Kelsey, advocacy and digital media manager for Planned Parenthood Great Plains, said the medical facility will open for patient care this week.
The Rogers Health Center, 1222 W. Poplar St., joins the organization's 10 other health centers chosen to meet growing patient needs throughout its region, according to the news release. The center is currently seeing patients for time-sensitive services, including birth control, sexually transmitted infections and HIV testing and treatment, gender-affirming care, primary care and more, according to the release.
"We won't be offering abortions at the Rogers location initially, but we believe that comprehensive care should be available at every center possible," Kelsey said. "We look forward to taking steps to expand services in the future."
Rogers patients also can access health care services through Planned Parenthood Great Plains' telehealth services, which includes secure, private video appointments, and birth control on demand through the Planned Parenthood Direct app, according to the release.
"We believe ensuring access to high-quality, comprehensive health care services is part of improving health outcomes in Arkansas, and our new Rogers Health Center is a critical piece of that puzzle," said Emily Wales, interim president and CEO. "The covid-19 pandemic has highlighted a growing urgency for increased access to essential health care in the region. The [Planned Parenthood Great Plains] team couldn't be prouder to reopen our doors in Northwest Arkansas to help area residents access affordable, high-quality sexual and reproductive health care."
Planned Parenthood Great Plains closed its Fayetteville location in 2019 because of challenges that posed concerns for the safety of its patients and staff, according to the release.
The group had been searching for a larger location to meet growing patient demand and to address the lack of access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care within the area, according to the release.
Jerry Cox, founder and president of Family Council, a conservative advocacy group in Little Rock, called the health center a "stain" on Rogers.
"It would be a stain on any community. This does not reflect the values of most people in Rogers, Arkansas," Cox said.
The facility is in the district of Benton County Justice of the Peace Richard McKeehan of Rogers. The Benton County Quorum Court in July passed a "pro-life" resolution that originally was presented by McKeehan.
"We are going to do all we can under the auspices of the law to say, 'We do not want you to do abortions in Benton County,"' he said.