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Family Planning Confusion

By Haley Sansom

Planned Parenthood Golden Gate has provided women and men in the North Bay with an array of services ranging from affordable contraception to counseling to check-ups to termination services for some 87 years. However, as of Sept. 3, the Golden Gate affiliate is no longer connected to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Clinics in six North Bay counties—Sonoma, Marin, Alameda, San Mateo, San Francisco and Mendocino—are now run by Golden Gate Community Health (GGCH).

The news that Planned Parenthood cut ties with the North Bay actually became news across the country because this is only the third time in 90 years that the mega nonprofit has dropped an affiliate. The disaffiliation is reportedly due in great part to financial issues, but there may be other reasons for the change as well. Wait times in North Bay clinics are reported to be longer than those in other clinics throughout the country, and shortage of supplies also apparently caused patients to be turned away more frequently. Administrative inefficiency may have been at issue. Calls to both GGCH and Planned Parenthood were unreturned.

In a move that makes this all the more confusing, shortly after the decision to cut ties with the North Bay, Planned Parenthood announced that it plans to open a clinic in Santa Rosa by December of this year. This clinic will be added to the Shasta-Diablo affiliate, a different affiliation than the previous clinics were under. Every Planned Parenthood affiliate is separate from the others, therefore allowing them to operate under a different financial status. The Shasta-Diablo affiliate hopes to open clinics in Napa, Marin and San Francisco counties soon, as well as additional clinics in Sonoma County.

One of the main concerns with the name change is that it will alter some of the services available; however, patients can expect clinics now associated with GGCH to remain unchanged. Planned Parenthood clinics often receive reduced costs for products due to its powerful name, so patients at GGCH clinics may see an increase in prices.

Until the Santa Rosa Planned Parenthood opens, the closest Planned Parenthood clinics are in Napa, Clearlake, Richmond and Vallejo. Find out more at and

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