Raleigh—Taking direct aim at Planned Parenthood, state house health and human services appropriation chairs today unveiled their 2012-2013 budget, which includes a special provision banning the women’s health non-profit from receiving state funding to provide family planning services to low-income women.
Craftily written to avoid listing the organization by name, the special provision prohibits the state’s department of health and human services from contracting with private family planning providers. When asked for clarification by committee member Rep. Inkso (D, Orange), legislative staff admitted that no other private group besides Planned Parenthood receives state funding for family planning services. If the provision passes, $343,000 will be redirected to local health departments at the end of FY2011-2012.
“This is simply more proof that Republican leadership in North Carolina cares more about politics than women’s health,” says Melissa Reed, Vice President of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood Health Systems.
Last year Parenthood of Central North Carolina won a temporary injunction against the state, lifting the Republican-led legislature’s ban prohibiting the group from receiving state funding for family planning and teen pregnancy prevention services.
When asked about the temporary injunction, NC House Speaker Thom Tillis suggested the legislature might consider rewriting the provision to make it more difficult for Planned Parenthood to prevail in court.
“The women we serve through family planning grants have an established relationship with our doctors and health care providers. There is no reason these patients should be sent to an already overburdened health department. This decision is just pure politics and it doesn’t save the state a dime,” added Paige Johnson, Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina.