At a meeting Friday morning, Ravalli County Commissioners didn't revisit a vote from earlier this month to reject Title X funds, thereby continuing forward with eliminating family planning services.
Commissioners heard from about seventy people on both sides of the issue during Friday's meeting.
The commissioners did not put forth a motion to revisit their vote. That means Ravalli County family planning services won't be available starting September 30.
In a 3-to-2 vote earlier this month, county commissioners rejected $50,000 in federal Title X funds to keep family planning services afloat.
A majority of the commission objects to requirements that underage clients be served without parental notification. The County's health director said in Friday's meeting that in a survey, 41 of 74 minor clients said they notified their parents they were receiving family planning services. She stressed, however, that 100 percent of the intakes were encouraged to keep their parents involved in their decisions.
Health workers said the decision to not accept the federal dollars, affects as many as 400 clients, most of them women, many of them poor.
Family planning provides referral for abnormal clinical breast exams, follow-up for high-risk pap screenings, domestic violence screening, pregnancy and prenatal counseling and birth control. The services will stop on September 30.
Other public health services do remain active -- basic services like immunizations, emergency preparedness, communicable disease prevention and maternal child care.
Health officials say one part-time nurse practitioner will lose her job, and commissioners will have to officially notify the state that they are refusing the funds. Ravalli County is the first Montana county to refuse Title X funding.
The county's health board had explored the possibility of accessing the funds without the commissioner's go-ahead, but the County Attorney's office had advised that it would not be possible.
A sign left up at the county's health department informed clients that the nearest family planning clinic is Planned Parenthood in Missoula.