Trump Administration Reassures on Family-Planning Program

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration says “there will be no gaps in service” in the nation’s $260 million family-planning program, even as it acknowledges missing a Nov. 1 deadline for providing grant information to local agencies.

Health and Human Services officials said in a statement Tuesday that they remain committed to the program, which serves about 4 million women annually.

Grant money for the program is expected to run out at the end of March. Known as Title X, the decades-old program enjoys bipartisan support. Funding renewals are usually routine.

Concern about unexplained delays prompted Democratic lawmakers to write HHS Secretary Alex Azar last week.

“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo. “It seems to be a combination of ineptitude and ideology, and I don’t know which is going on.”

The Trump administration official in charge of the family planning program abruptly resigned last month.

Valerie Huber, a senior HHS official now in charge, said in an email to family programs Tuesday that they’ll have “ample time to submit a quality proposal so that even more Americans have access” to services.

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