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Administration calls family planning program ‘important’

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR Associated Press 

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said Tuesday ‘‘there will be no gaps in service’’ in the nation’s $260 million family planning program, even as it acknowledged missing a deadline last fall for providing critical grant information to local agencies.

The Health and Human Services Department said in a statement Tuesday that it remains committed to the program, which serves about 4 million women annually at family planning clinics. Some of those facilities are operated by Planned Parenthood, which separately provides abortions and has been the target of Republican efforts to deny it all government funding.

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Known as Title X, the decades-old family planning program has generally enjoyed bipartisan support and routine funding renewals. It provides birth control and preventive medical care, mainly for low-income women. But federal grant money is expected to run out at the end of March and until now there had been no official acknowledgement or explanation for delays in the funding process.

HHS tried to ease concerns Tuesday.

ASSOCIATED PRESS