Despite hopes for a clean transition for patients, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte announced that its new location in Mountain View won't be opening until the first week of December.
The old clinic at 225 San Antonio Road recently shuttered due to major redevelopment plans for the property, with construction fencing around the single-story strip mall and black plastic covering the clinic's logo. On Oct. 25, the clinic's management posted online that the health center would soon be opening down the street, at 2500 California St., but until then, patients need to seek appointments elsewhere.
Patients of Planned Parenthood are now being asked to call 650-948-0807 to arrange an appointment at the next closest clinic -- either in San Jose or Redwood City.
The clinic, run by the regional Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, provides family planning and primary care services to thousands of patients each year, the majority of whom are low-income. The organization scrambled in 2017 to find a place to relocate due to plans by the developer Greystar to transform the property into a 632-unit apartment complex.
After close to a year of searching and with help from Santa Clara County and the city of Mountain View, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte purchased the new 8,000-square-foot property down the street in March last year.
With more room to grow, Planned Parenthood inked a lease agreement with Santa Clara County to have county-run health care services under the same roof. The lease agreement shows the county will be paying $4,800 per month -- escalating over time -- for space to provide specialty services complementing what Planned Parenthood already provides. The plan is to include a pediatric dental clinic and a mix of other services including cardiology, orthopedics and urology.
The clinic has long faced possible eviction and has been on month-to-month leases since 2017. The original hope was to have the new location open by September, but that timeline got bumped into late October while waiting for permits from the city of Mountain View to operate an elevator in the building.
The health center is now slated to open in the first week of December, due to "construction delays and consequently delays with permits," said Lupe Rodriguez, director public affairs for Planned Parenthood Mar Monte. That leaves a roughly one-month gap in services in Mountain View.
Rodriguez told the Voice in an email that the Planned Parenthood clinics in Redwood City and San Jose will be welcoming Mountain View patients for both scheduled and drop-in appointments during the transition period, and that patients and community members can check for updates online.
More than 8,000 patients visited the Mountain View Planned Parenthood clinic annually while it was open, more than 80% of whom are residents of Santa Clara County, according to county data. About 2,000 of those patients are enrolled in the county-operated Valley Health Plan, and only about one-fourth of the low-income patients who rely on the clinic qualify for Medi-Cal.
County support for Planned Parenthood has escalated in recent months under the changing landscape of federal health care policy. The Trump administration this year sought to implement a gag rule preventing clinics receiving federal funds from making referrals for abortion services, essentially forcing Planned Parenthood to opt out of $286 million in federal funding or about $23 million across 350 clinic sites in California. The rule change took effect pending litigation currently under review by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Santa Clara County supervisors agreed in September to backfill any funding lost by clinics operating in the county due to the rule change, including six Planned Parenthood clinics that stood to lose about $482,000 in annual funding.