By Peter J. Smith

SAN FRANCISCO, California, Aug. 31, 2010 ( – Planned Parenthood (PP) Federation of America is not divulging the details behind its decision to revoke its trademark from a San Francisco area affiliate. The decision to distance itself from one of its own affiliates is a step that is rarely taken by PP: even those clinics caught violating the law by pro-life undercover reporter Lila Rose in recent years have retained full enjoyment of the PP name.

Planned Parenthood of the Golden Gate (PPGG), which was implicated in the 2003 RU-486 death of Holly Patterson, operates eight facilities in San Francisco and four counties in the Bay Area, serving approximately 55,000 clients. As of September 3, the clinics will no longer be linked to PPFA, but will operate under the name Golden Gate Community Health.

But officials at Planned Parenthood’s national headquarters are staying mum on the exact reasons for disaffiliation. When pressed by the New York Times for information, officials declined to comment to the newspaper of record.

Further information from the Times showed complaints of “major system issues” and allegations that PPGG was running its operations perpetually low on supplies – many times running out – and with less than 60 days of cash on hand.

The Times reported that PPGG has failed to turn a profit since 2006, and reported a loss of $2.8 million in tax records for 2008-2009.

Former PPGG administrators denied the charges of organizational and fiscal maladministration to the Times, and instead blamed the national organization for lack of support. Its interim CEO decried the stripping of affiliate status as “premature,” saying they had been in dialogue with PPFA officials for the past six months to work out problems. 

However PPGG’s biggest slipup may have been its handling of the case of Holly Patterson, an 18-year-old who succumbed to septic shock one week after taking the RU-486 abortion drug – a case that has lead to a lawsuit against the organization.

After taking the drug, Patterson experienced severe cramping, bleeding, and vomiting, but was only encouraged to take more painkillers by the Planned Parenthood clinic's hotline. After calling again, the clinic encouraged her to go to the emergency room if the pain continued; an emergency room doctor simply prescribed more painkillers. Patterson died three days later.

Holly’s father, Monty Patterson, has filed a lawsuit naming Danco Laboratories, RU-486’s U.S. manufacturer, as well as PPGG, as defendants. He insists that his daughter was not adequately informed by Planned Parenthood before taking the dangerous drug, receiving written and video materials that made chemical abortion for a 7-week unborn baby look like a “walk in the park.”

Planned Parenthood is now reassigning PPGG’s service areas in San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Sonoma and Alameda Counties to neighboring affiliate clinics.

See previous background coverage by

Planned Parenthood Pulls Name from Troubled Golden Gate Affiliate