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Federal Judge in North Carolina Rules in Favor of Women’s Health
Third State to Have Defunding Legislation Halted
New York, NY — Planned Parenthood Federation of America joins Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina (PPCNC) in applauding U.S. District Court Judge James Beaty, Jr.’s decision to grant a preliminary injunction to halt the enforcement of a new state law that would deny thousands of women access to critical family planning and education services.
“This ruling is yet another victory for women and families,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Court decisions in Indiana, Kansas, and now North Carolina have made it abundantly clear that it is unacceptable for states to pass laws that prevent women from going to their trusted health care provider to get primary and preventive care. Planned Parenthood health centers look forward to continuing to provide high-quality care to the women, men, and teens of North Carolina.”
Earlier this year, Governor Perdue vetoed the state budget that included language singling out Planned Parenthood, but the legislature voted to override the veto. This is the first time in North Carolina’s history that a single health care provider has been carved out in the budget and banned from applying for competitive grants from the state.
Two recent polls from Gallup and Harris Interactive/HealthDay show strong majority support for Planned Parenthood. A Gallup poll found that 57 percent of voters oppose “laws prohibiting health clinics that provide abortion services from receiving any federal funds.” This would include efforts to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving funds for preventive health care including lifesaving cancer screenings, breast exams, birth control, and STD testing and treatment. A poll conducted by Harris Interactive/HealthDay similarly found that 55 percent of voters oppose “eliminating state funding from Planned Parenthood.”
“Our first concern is for our patients so we are deeply grateful that the court has stopped the state from enforcing the ban prohibiting Planned Parenthood from providing much-needed preventive health care to thousands of North Carolinians,”said Janet Colm, PPCNC’s CEO.
Last year, PPCNC provided family planning and reproductive health exams to almost 7,000 women, including 1,000 Pap tests and breast exams, colposcopies to detect cervical cancer following an abnormal Pap test, and more than 8,000 tests for sexually transmitted infections. Because roughly 70 percent of the women and men served by Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina lack health insurance to cover their care. Many patients would have nowhere else to turn for quality affordable care. In addition, the restriction further stretched North Carolina’s already over-burdened health care system. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, North Carolina has the seventh-highest shortage of primary care providers in the country. Eliminating Planned Parenthood as a subsidized family planning provider would force patients to delay or go without family planning services and lifesaving cancer screenings.