Planned Parenthood is having a tumultuous week in a stressful year.
The women’s health and family-planning group announced it will give up federal funds rather than comply with Trump administration rules barring it from referring women for abortions.
And it ousted its president after just eight months on the job, in what the Washington Post calls “a dispute over her management style … amid political and legal challenges to abortion.”
Planned Parenthood said it will no longer accept money from Title X, “the only federally funded program dedicated to providing contraception and other reproductive health services to low-income women, marking a victory for Trump’s conservative base,” says The Hill.
The decision follows the administration’s announcement Monday night that it will enforce the ban on abortion referrals, even as the courts consider lawsuits against it.
Numerous other clinics around the country will also be affected.
“The loss of millions of dollars in grant funding could be challenging for cash-strapped clinics that offer health services at little or no cost to patients,” The Hill says.
Tuesday’s ouster of the group’s president, Leana Wen, “occurred at one of the most difficult moments in the group’s history,” reports the Post, noting both the loss of the Title X funding and attacks by anti-abortion lawmakers at both the state and federal levels.
Planned Parenthood is also “threatened by the prospect that the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion could be overturned by the Supreme Court’s new conservative majority,” the Post says.
The group’s board declined to comment on the reasons for firing Wen, but “one insider … who asked not to be identified” told Politico: “It’s shocking, the damage she’s done,” adding that the core problem was “this person [Wen] being an incompetent manager.” Politico suggests that Wen’s management style caused “significant staff turnover during her tenure….”
Abortion is legal, but federal funds can’t be used to pay for it except in cases of rape, incest or to save the pregnant woman’s life.
“The federal government’s $260 million family planning program serves 4 million women,” the Post says. “About 40 percent [1.6 million] of those patients are seen by Planned Parenthood and its affiliates.”