“We’re basically pretty break-even,” she said.
Johnston said that the South Central group spent about two years studying whether to offer its own abortions — including discussions with Southern Tier Women’s Services — after the national Planned Parenthood Federation decided in 2010 to require affiliate abortions by this year.
“I think they studied it very thoughtfully and basically decided that if they were to compete with us, they would actually decrease access by basically making it financially impossible for us to continue,” she said. “That’s why they decided to disaffiliate.”
Johnston said that the Southern Finger Lakes group “would do exactly what our local group was trying to avoid.”
She also said Southern Tier Women’s Services had no discussions with the Finger Lakes group, “because we just received notice of this over the weekend.”
Marcus said Family Planning of South Central New York receives about $1.5 million in annual funding from Title X, a federal program that provides family planning support to states but does not pay for abortions. New York state distributes the federal money to providers under multi-year contracts. Marcus said her group is about halfway through its current five-year contract.
With at least two years left on Family Planning of South Central New York’s contract, Southern Finger Lakes probably could only offer family planning services during that time in Otsego, Delaware, Chenango and Broome counties with money designated for its current area or with donations from private parties.
Marcus said her organization sent a letter to its donors in mid-February in which it attempted to head off confusion about who was providing family planning services.
“People think, ‘Oh, I always gave to Planned Parenthood, I guess this must be Planned Parenthood. I’ll give them the money,’” Marcus said of potential fund-raising appeals by Southern Finger Lakes.