Abortion politics lead to power struggles over family planning grants

Katheryn Houghton Kaiser Health News

BOZEMAN — In a busy downtown coffee shop, a drawing of a ski lift with intrauterine devices for chairs draws the eyes of sleepy customers getting their morning underway with a caffeine jolt.

The flyer touts the services of Bridgercare, a nonprofit reproductive health clinic a few miles up the road. The clinic offers wellness exams, birth control, and LGBTQ+ services — and, starting in April, it oversees the state’s multimillion-dollar share of federal family planning program funding.

In March, Bridgercare beat out the state health department to become administrator of Montana’s $2.3 million Title X program, which helps pay for family planning and preventive health services. The organization applied for the grant because its leaders were concerned about a new state law that sought to restrict which local providers are funded.

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What is happening in Montana is the latest example of an ongoing power struggle between nonprofits and conservative-leaning states over who receives federal family planning money. That has intensified in recent years as the Title X program has increasingly become entangled with

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