Efforts to defund Planned Parenthood move to state level
April 19, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Days after Republican Congressmen in Washington abandoned the effort to strip Planned Parenthood of its federal funds, the battle continues in state legislatures across the country.
In North Carolina, Republicans added a provision to the state budget last week that would prohibit the state from providing grants or entering into contracts with Planned Parenthood, a measure which would deprive the organization of the $473,000 it currently receives through state family planning programs.
Representative Nelson Dollar, chairman of the House appropriation subcommittee for Health and Human Services, told the Raleigh News and Observer newspaper that the provision is unrelated to the issue of abortion.
“There are a whole host of programs being reduced. Planned Parenthood is not unique,” he said, adding that the proposed budget still allocated $3.6 million towards other teen pregnancy prevention programs.
A similar measure prohibiting state grants and contracts with Planned Parenthood was added to a pro-life bill in Indiana yesterday. According to an Associated Press report, Planned Parenthood is currently receiving $3 million in Indiana state funds.
The larger bill of which the funding provision is now a part, HB 1210, would also prohibit abortions after 20 weeks gestation. The current legal cut-off in Indiana is 24 weeks. The bill has yet to be voted on by the state Senate.
Also on Monday, Minnesota Republicans introduced SF 1224, a bill that does not mention Planned Parenthood by name, but which prohibits state grant funds from being given to any organization that provides abortions or refers patients for abortion.
If passed, the bill would remove state funds from all of the 24 clinics that Planned Parenthood operates in Minnesota.
This past week’s legislation mirrors other recent efforts in Wisconsin and New Hampshire to keep Planned Parenthood from receiving fund from state coffers. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker unveiled a budget proposal in early March which eliminates the Title V Maternal and Child Health Program. Title V is the source of roughly $1 million in funding for Planned Parenthood’s 27 Wisconsin clinics, according to the Huffington Post.
The proposed budget is currently stalled by tense debate over its radical overhaul of state finances, including cuts in education, and health-care and pension plans for public employees.
Legislative efforts in New Hampshire have also come to a standstill, after a bill specifically targeting Planned Parenthood was introduced in early February. HB 228 would, like the North Carolina and Indiana legislation, prohibit the state from entering into a contract with Planned Parenthood; it is currently retained in committee in the House.
Planned Parenthood stands to lose approximately $800,000 if the New Hampshire legislation is passed.
The national abortion giant is firing back against the threats to its state funding across the country with claims that it does not use government money to subsidize abortion but rather to provide seemingly non-controversial health services.
According to the Daily Tar Heel, Paige Johnson, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Central North Carolina, said that the loss of funding in the state would inhibit access of low-income women to mammograms and birth control.
Johnson’s statement is similar to one made by Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards during the Congressional debate over federal funding for the organization. In an appearance on The Joy Behar Show, Richards listed mammograms among the “basic family planning services” that Planned Parenthood provides.
However, a series of undercover phone calls by the pro-life group Live Action to 30 Planned Parenthood clinics in 27 different states found that the organization does not, in fact, offer mammograms.
According to Jim Sedlak, Executive Director of Stop Planned Parenthood (STOPP), even Planned Parenthood non-abortion-related programs, such as birth control services and sex education, are still not uncontroversial.
“Planned Parenthood comes between parents and their children and indoctrinates children into a sexual lifestyle that is against the religion of most parents, and so, for that reason, many, many parents who actually would not join us on the abortion battle join us in the battle against Planned Parenthood,” Sedlak told LifeSiteNews.
Sedlak also said that most of the contraceptives that Planned Parenthood provides are actually abortificients, because they prevent the implantation in the womb of a fertilized egg, resulting in the death of a newly created human being.
“People around the country have for years been fighting against taxpayer money for Planned Parenthood at the local level of cities and counties, and they have had a large number of successes, and now that battle has moved up to the state level and federal level, which is where it needs to be. We see this as an exciting development in the fight against Planned Parenthood, and it will eventually be successful,” he added.