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Planned Parenthood Weighs Options After Funding Loss

Organization quit federal program over rule
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 22, 2019 6:46 PM CDT
Pamphlets are shown in the clinic of Planned Parenthood of Utah on Wednesday in Salt Lake City. About 39,000 people received treatment from Planned Parenthood of Utah in 2018 under a federal family planning...   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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(Newser) – Planned Parenthood clinics are charging new fees, tapping financial reserves, intensifying fundraising and warning of more unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases after its decision to quit a $260 million federal family planning program in an abortion dispute with the Trump administration. The fallout is especially intense in Utah, where Planned Parenthood has been the only provider participating in the nearly 50-year-old Title X family planning program and will lose about $2 million yearly that helped 39,000 mostly low-income, uninsured people. It plans to maintain its services — which include contraception, STD testing and cancer screening — but is considering a small copay for patients who used to get care for free, the AP reports. Planned Parenthood in Minnesota is in a similar situation. "We believe there will be a public health crisis created by this denial of care," said Sarah Stoesz of Planned Parenthood North Central States. "It's a very sad day for the country."

Planned Parenthood and several other providers withdrew from the program this week rather than comply with a newly implemented rule prohibiting clinics from referring women for abortions. About 4 million women are served by the Title X program, which makes up a much bigger portion of Planned Parenthood's patients than abortion. But the organization could not abide by the abortion rules because it says they would make it impossible for doctors to do their jobs. Misty Dotson, a single mother in Utah, started going to Planned Parenthood as doctors' bills for treating recurring yeast infections mounted. The services became more important when she gave up her employer-sponsored health insurance because she couldn't afford the $500 monthly bill. She is unsure what she'd do if the family planning services stop. "It would put me in a very dangerous position," Dotson said. The impact of the funding loss will vary from state to state.

(Read more Planned Parenthood stories.)

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