Planned Parenthood Keystone Says Services Will Continue Despite Dropping Federal Funding

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- Planned Parenthood is pulling out of a federal program because of a Trump administration rule it calls a "gag order" and an "attack on reproductive health care."

Planned Parenthood Keystone says services will continue as usual despite this loss of funding.

Executives with Planned Parenthood feel they were forced to pull out of Title X after the Department of Health and Human Services implemented a rule prohibiting clinics from discussing abortions with patients.

Title X is the only federal grant program that provides family planning and preventive health services to low-income patients.

The sign outside Planned Parenthood in Wilkes-Barre reads "Care. No matter what," and that's exactly what Planned Parenthood Keystone says it will continue to do after a tumultuous couple of weeks for the organization.

Last week, a vandal wrecked the place in Wilkes-Barre, shattering windows and writing on the walls. The man was caught and faces a slew of charges.

"Last week was a really tough week, and this gag rule is a really tough decision to come down from the courts," said Melissa Reed, Planned Parenthood Keystone CEO

Employees with Planned Parenthood Keystone tell Newswatch 16 that 40% of patients in the Wilkes-Barre area use Title X money. Workers are already coming up with new ways to make up for the loss of funding.

"We are reaching out to different entities to see about additional grant funds. We are certainly reaching out to supporters in our communities," Reed added.

Planned Parenthood Keystone has been serving the Wilkes-Barre community for 80 years with 3,000 family planning visits every year. People we spoke to in the Diamond City were frustrated by the loss of funding for the facility.

"I'm kind of appalled because the percentage of people who go there for abortions is so much less than the people who go there for pap smears, breast exams, and everything in between," said Rebecca Goldberg of Wilkes-Barre.

"There's a lot of women here in this town that actually need that help that cannot find the funding, that can't get welfare insurance, medical insurance, anything like that," said Ken Brickhouse of Wilkes-Barre.

Before dropping out of Title X, Planned Parenthood Keystone received about $2 million from the program every year.

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