Planned Parenthood Statement on NC Budget Override

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE     
June 15, 2011

NORTH CAROLINA 3rd STATE TO BAR PLANNED PARENTHOOD FROM PARTICIPATING IN PUBLIC HEALTH PROGRAMS
State Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto, Strips Planned Parenthood of State Funding

Raleigh - Planned Parenthood sharply criticized the North Carolina General Assembly for overriding Governor Perdue’s veto of the state budget, which includes an anti-women’s health care provision which would effectively end state and federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The provision will take life-saving cancer screenings, annual exams, birth control, and STI testing and treatment away from low-income and uninsured North Carolina women, men and teens who seek preventive health care at Planned Parenthood.

“Let’s be clear: any elected official who voted for the radical  budget provision to bar state funding to Planned Parenthood voted against access to lifesaving cancer screenings and birth control,” said Paige Johnson, Vice-President of Public Policy with Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina. “The continued misleading attacks on Planned Parenthood expose a cynical and coldhearted willingness to further a divisive political agenda even if it will deny women access to lifesaving preventive healthcare.”

“Planned Parenthood in North Carolina is considering all options—including litigation—to protect the health care needs of our patients, particularly low-income women and families,” said Melissa Reed, Vice-President of Public Policy with Planned Parenthood Health Systems. “Over 20,000 North Carolinians raised their voices in support of Planned Parenthood this legislative session.  We will make sure that state legislators hear from all of those citizens again on Election Day next year.”     

Background

Planned Parenthood is an essential community provider in North Carolina. Each year, at nine health centers across the state, they provide over 25,000 men and women with more than 61,000 contraceptive visits, 18,000 tests for sexually transmitted infections, and over 11,000 life-saving breast and cervical cancer screenings.

Previously, Planned Parenthood received just over $434,000 through state grants and programs. State funding is used only to provide preventive healthcare services such as breast and cervical cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, teen pregnancy prevention and affordable contraception. 

The new budget contains a special provision that would bar Planned Parenthood from receiving any state funds to provide family planning services and teen pregnancy prevention initiatives in North Carolina. The move by the North Carolina legislature follows a national debate on federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Efforts to defund preventive reproductive healthcare were resoundingly defeated in the United States Senate after over 800,000 Americans spoke out in support of Planned Parenthood. 

North Carolina is the 3rd state to bar Planned Parenthood from participating in public health programs. Thus far, state legislatures in Indiana and Kansas have passed such provisions, and the respective governors have signed them into law.

NC Republican leaders’ proposal is both bad policy and bad politics. In a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling, 57% of voters in North Carolina opposed the effort by House Republicans to prohibit state funding to Planned Parenthood.

National polling also reflects that barring federal funding for Planned Parenthood is out of step with the mainstream.

CNN poll: 65% of voters “think the federal government should continue to provide funding to Planned Parenthood.” This includes 68 percent of women and 58 percent of independents. [CNN.com, 4/11/11]

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Media Contact: Melissa Reed, 919-924-1520 or Paige Johnson, 919-618-3899

 


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