For the past week, the public affairs office of the city's largest Planned Parenthood clinic on 16th Street NW has been receiving about 10 calls a day from citizens--many of them teen-agers--who say they are "outraged" about proposed new federal regulations that would require the clinic to notify parents whose daughters under 18 seek prescription birth control products.
It was no different yesterday, when the proposed regulations appeared in the Federal Register, clearing the way for them to go into effect Feb. 25 at all family planning clinics that receive federal Title X (family planning services) funds.
Mary Janney, executive director of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, said her staff has been telling callers that Planned Parenthood has filed suit in federal court here to block the regulations and is "confident we will win."
"One thing that distresses me is that even talk of these regulations is going to deter many unemancipated minors under 18 from coming to our clinic," Janney said.
Of the 3,924 clients who received contraceptive services at the two D.C. Planned Parenthood clinics in 1982, about 9 percent of them were 17 or younger, according to Debra Haffner, the organization's spokeswoman.
"A number of the kids calling for appointments are asking, 'Can I still come without anyone knowing?' " Haffner said.
Janney estimated that "a good half" of Planned Parenthood's teen-aged clients are "in touch with their parents" about their use of contraceptive products. "For those that are not in touch with their parents, we strongly feel that that's their right," Janney said.
U.S. District Court Judge Thomas A. Flannery is expected today to set a hearing date for Planned Parenthood's class action suit against the government.
Janney said the regulations will affect only the two Planned Parenthood clinics in the city and not the three suburban clinics that do not receive federal funds.
The Howard University Hospital Family Planning Center, however, does receive Title X funds and "will fully comply with the regulations when they are received," a spokeswoman for the center said yesterday.
City-run health clinics also dispense birth control products, but use federal Title V funds for these programs and are not affected by the new regulations, said Joan Reeves, a spokeswoman for the D.C. Department of Human Services.