Family Planning concerned over competition

By Michelle Costanza

April 1, 2013 Updated Apr 2, 2013 at 7:10 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Local family planning agencies in the Southern Tier are worried that a new proposal by Planned Parenthood could jeopardize services for Greater Binghamton communities.

Family Planning -- previously a Planned Parenthood affiliate -- recently cut ties with the national organization. The break-up came after a mandate requiring all affiliates to provide abortion services. Instead of performing abortions of their own, the chapter refers women to local providers, which already offered the those services.

In response to the independence, Planned Parenthood has proposed to grant the territory of Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Otsego counties to Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes.

Leaders of the nonprofit Family Planning say that's a move that could cost them up to $1 million in state and federal aid.

Planned Parenthood is planning to open a new part-time clinic where abortion services would be available.

"They aim to get our funding, and it will substantially jeopardize and hurt our ability to provide care. We believe so strongly that the best care is community-based care," said Family Planning CEO Debra Marcus.

The local organization says they broke away from Planned Parenthood and sacrificed potential profits to avoid competition with local doctors, as well as the Southern Tier Women's Service, which has provided abortion services for more than 30 years.

Marcus says that duplication of services will only drive away current providers. She says the goal of Family Planning is to keep the focus on providing top-notch services through continued cooperation with preexisting providers.