The Planned Parenthood clinic at 2751 Tech Drive, Bettendorf, has ceased doing surgical abortions.

Medical abortions continue to be performed at the clinic.

The change in abortion methods was pointed out Wednesday in an email distributed to the media by Iowa Right to Life, which is based in Des Moines.

Planned Parenthood officials said Wednesday that the change came after a review of the service offerings at its clinics such as the one in Bettendorf. No staff members were laid off as a result, officials added.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland made the adjustments to "better meet the needs of our patients," Jill June, the organization's president and CEO, said in an email sent Wednesday afternoon to the Quad-City Times.

"We have the best interests of our patients in mind, and we will do all we can to ensure that we will continue to be here for patients, no matter what," she added.

According to its website, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland provides reproductive health care services to residents of Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. It is based in Des Moines. 

Iowa Right to Life executive director Jenifer Bowen said members of her organization first learned in November that surgical abortions might be ended at the Bettendorf facility.

Subsequently, she said, persons associated with her organization made telephone calls to the Bettendorf Planned Parenthood clinic and asked about making an appointment for a surgical abortion. They were told over the phone that the procedure was no longer being offered there, she said. 

Anti-abortion activists who pray regularly outside the Bettendorf clinic reported to Iowa Right to Life that traffic levels there have decreased in recent weeks, Bowen said.

The activists also reported that some patients of the clinic told them they had been referred to Iowa City for surgical abortion services.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5,399 abortions were performed in Iowa during 2010, the most recent year for which statistics are available. Nearly 45 percent of those were done with prescription medicine and 41 percent were done surgically.

At Planned Parenthood, some 60 percent of the abortions performed in 2013 were done by medication, June said.

The medication is called Mifepristone, or Mifeprex. It was developed in France and first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2000. According to its manufacturer, Danco Laboratories, it has been used by 1.75 million women in the United States since 2000.