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Planned Parenthood Rejects Federal Funds

Santa Barbara, which has rallied regularly for Planned Parenthood, may have to do so again for funding as the group just withdrew from Title X. | Credit: Paul Wellman (file)

“We refuse to comply with the unethical and harmful Title X Gag Rule,” Santa Barbara’s Planned Parenthood office asserted on Tuesday. “Planned Parenthood patients come to us because they expect the best information and health care available. This gag rule would make it impossible to provide the care that our patients deserve.”

The statement follows the national organization’s rejection of Title X funding on Monday rather than comply with the Trump administration’s demand that recipients rein in any abortion referrals. Fully 4,000 health-care facilities receive Title X funds, totaling $286 million for family planning services for about 4 million low-income individuals. About $60 million of that goes to Planned Parenthood offices, according to the Los Angeles Times. The largest public health nonprofit in Manhattan, Public Health Solutions, also spurned Title X funding on Monday, the Daily Beast reported, quoting CEO Lisa David’s prediction of increased sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancies.

The local group, known as Planned Parenthood California Central Coast, will nonetheless continue to offer birth control, STI testing and treatment, and other reproductive-health-care procedures. “We’re really fortunate to be in California,” said spokesperson Julie Mickelberry. “And we’ve worked really hard to ensure the state has funding in place to make sure everyone who needs reproductive health care has access to it.”

Lawsuits are in progress over the gag rule, and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is to hear a request for an injunction the week of September 23, according to the Times. Trump administration officials have accused Title X recipients of accepting grants and failing to comply with the accompanying regulations. The American Medical Association and the American Civil Liberties Union have joined Planned Parenthood in asserting that doctors have the right to speak honestly and fully with all their patients.

“It’s uncertain how Planned Parenthoods in other states will do, Mickelberry worried. But she affirmed, “Our doors will remain open.”

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