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California Battles Feds Over Family Planning Program

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

 

California's program that provides family planning services to the poor is under fire from the federal government. The Bush Administration wants the state to change the way the program counts illegal immigrants. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

 

The Family PACT program offers birth control and counseling to about one-point-seven million Californians. The state estimates how many illegal immigrants it serves.

 

The Bush Administration says the state must verify citizenship for each patient.

 

Kathy Kneer heads up Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California . She says that change would undermine the most successful element of the program.

 

Kathy Kneer: And that is allowing individuals to go to a family planning provider, get their eligibility done on site, give them their services, without having to go one place to get their eligibility done, and then go find a doctor.

 

If California doesn't make the change, it could lose 315-million dollars in federal money.

 

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

 

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