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Wednesday, May 3, 2000

Turf fight brewing
for isle family
planning services

By Helen Altonn


A turf battle appears to be under way for family planning services in Hawaii.

The Family Planning Centers of Hawaii, formerly known as Planned Parenthood of Hawaii, is seeking affiliation with Planned Parenthood of Golden Gate in San Francisco.

Triggering the action was a move by Planned Parenthood San Diego to expand beyond California's San Diego and Riverside Counties to "the State of Hawaii Turf."

"It appears that Planned Parenthood of San Diego is not interested in working with Family Planning Centers of Hawaii, but intends to establish an affiliate in competition with FPCH," Barry Raff, executive director of the local Family Planning Centers, said in a news release today.

The Hawaii centers will seek formal affiliation with Planned Parenthood of Golden Gate, which, if approved, would restore Planned Parenthood of America's coverage to all 50 states, he said.

In 1998, Planned Parenthood of Hawaii was disaffiliated by the national federation after a dispute over management of the Hawaii affiliate. Hawaii officials felt mainland governance and management would be culturally and ethnically insensitive. Planned Parenthood of Hawaii directors voted to continue operating the three family planning clinics and changed its name.

Raff said the agency "is and has been Hawaii's dominant and long-standing pro-choice organization and the only nonprofit organization in Hawaii devoted exclusively to reproductive healthcare services, education and advocacy.

"It is essential that Planned Parenthood's re-entry into Hawaii include Family Planning Centers of Hawaii," he said.

Raff said the Golden Gate organization "has demonstrated a sensitivity to local issues and the willingness to work with the unique cultural aspects of the Hawaii community."

The boards and chief executives of both organizations are working to develop an affiliation proposal to be submitted this month, Raff said. The proposal "combines our unique strengths to better service the women of Hawaii, while maintaining local management and control," he said.

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