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What to make of the decision by a third local affiliate to “disaffiliate” from Planned Parenthood

by | Dec 10, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Ten days ago NRL News Today reported on the decision of a local Planned Parenthood affiliate to go solo next year. Since we are not insiders, we were (and will remain) cautious about drawing conclusions regarding the decision reached by Planned Parenthood of South Central New York, which operates five clinics, and will become Family Planning of South Central New York next March 1.

For example, is the affiliate “leaving the organization rather than comply with a policy that all affiliates must offer on-site abortions,” as NBC News’ Alex Johnson wondered late last week?  Or is something closer to what Chief Executive Officer Debra Marcus suggested to reporter Jennifer Micale: that  the break is all about flexibility and local decision-making, not an objection to abortion. In fact, she told Micale, “We remain totally committed to women’s reproductive choice. If we provided abortions, however, we would be duplicating services already provided in our community.”

According to Johnson, PP of South Central New York joins two other affiliates which have “disaffiliated” because of the mandate: Tri-Rivers Planned Parenthood in Missouri and Planned Parenthood of Coastal Bend in Texas.

The larger consideration surely is that two years ago, Planned Parenthood served notice that every one of its 74 regional affiliates must provide on-site abortions. (Not every clinic; at least one clinic in every affiliate).

Interestingly, Johnson reports, “Eric Ferrer, vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, acknowledged that one of those ‘core’ services was on-site abortions, which about 10 percent of affiliates didn’t previously offer. (Agency officials said nearly all of those affiliates, which currently refer clients to other local abortion providers, had already complied or were on track to do so.)”

Elsewhere in the story, we read that PPFA’s explanation for its mandate is that it wanted its affiliates to “provide a standard menu of services.” Just speculating, but did the fact that providing abortions is a highly lucrative “revenue stream” play just a little bit larger role than making sure services weren’t “duplicated”?

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Categories: PPFA