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Tennessee Pro-Lifers: Haslam Can Stop Planned Parenthood Funds

by Steven Ertelt | Nashville, TN | LifeNews.com | 6/7/11 1:41 PM

State

Tennessee Right to Life continues to press Governor Bill Haslam to take steps to yank the taxpayer funding the Planned Parenthood abortion business receives from the state.

Unless Governor Haslam directs his pro-abortion Commissioner of Health, Susan Cooper, to take steps mandating that local health departments in Memphis and Nashville accept an additional $1.1 million state funds to expand their existing provision of birth control services, Planned Parenthood affiliates in the two cities will again be recipients of the ‘birth control’ contracts with Tennessee’s Department of Health.

“Planned Parenthood continues to play a shell game with the legislators and taxpayers of Tennessee,” said Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life.  “They claim that these tax dollar are segregated and can’t be used to kill unborn children.  But any Tennessean understands that if you’re handed a million dollars with certain strings attached, the rest of your dollars are freed up to use as you wish including, in this case, the killing of unborn children.”

Harris says documentation provided to pro-life state legislators by officials of the Tennessee Department of Health makes it clear that contracts between Planned Parenthood and the state of Tennessee subsidize salaries of employees involved in both the ‘birth control’ campaigns and abortion operations of the organization.

“As much as 55% of certain Planned Parenthood salaries are funded through contracts with the Tennessee Department of Health, said Harris. “These same employees  spend at least part of every work day promoting and/or participating in abortions at Planned Parenthood…no tax payer should be forced to subsidize the salary of any organization’s employees that participate in the harming of women and the killing of helpless unborn children.”

Tennessee Right to Life continues to urge Governor Haslam to make the protection of human life and Tennessee’s taxpayers a top priority.

“We ask that the Governor direct his Commissioner of Health to fulfill her duties by doing everything possible to persuade the two public health departments to accept the additional dollars so that the intent of the Legislature is accomplished:  No More Tax Dollars for Planned Parenthood Affiliates in Tennessee.”

TRTL says Haslam has previously committed to de-funding Planned Parenthood and is urging him to make good on his promises.

“I guess the big question is what is meant by family planning,” Haslam responded in a question at a TN Economic Council on Women event in October 2010. “If it’s having Planned Parenthood run it out of state dollars, I would not be in favor of that.  I would not be in favor of state dollars going to abortion, either.  Are there other things that we can do to help on this very serious issue in Tennessee?  You bet.”

“I am against tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood, and I am disappointed that the circumstances surrounding the state budget do not allow us to prevent this from happening this year,” Haslam added earlier this month in a statement.

State legislators thought they were de-funding Planned Parenthood, but someone, either a legislator or a member of the legislative staff, included an amendment nullifying the one lawmakers approved to remove funding for the abortion business.

ACTION: Contact Governor Haslam at 615.741.2001 or http://www.tn.gov/