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Planned Parenthood sets exit from family planning program

SeattlePI.com Wednesday, 14 August 2019 ()
WASHINGTON (AP) — Raising the stakes in a standoff over women's health, Planned Parenthood said Wednesday it will leave the federal family planning program within days unless a court puts a hold on Trump administration rules that bar clinics from referring patients for abortions.

Spokeswoman Erica Sackin told The Associated Press that Planned Parenthood clinics "will be formally out of the Title X program" by Monday unless the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco halts the new rules. The appeals court is weighing a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood and others to overturn the rules; a panel of judges in effect had earlier allowed the administration to go ahead with enforcement.

Monday also is the deadline set by the federal Department of Health and Human Services for participants in the family planning program to submit plans on how they would comply with the rules, which are set to take effect Sept. 18.

In a notice to the court Wednesday, Planned Parenthood said it "will be forced to withdraw" from program by close of business on Monday unless the full court intervenes.

It's unclear what the immediate impact would be for patients next week because Planned Parenthood has also pledged to keep its doors open as it contests the administration's policy change.

It's seems likely that any disruptions will vary from state to state. Some states have said they would step in to take over from the federal government, and some family planning providers have indicated they're looking for other sources of funding.

Planned Parenthood and its affiliates are the largest providers in the family planning program, which serves about 4 million clients annually. In addition to birth control, clinics provide basic health services and cancer screenings for many low-income...
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