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Tennessee Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz Loses Tax Funding

by Steven Ertelt | Nashville, TN | LifeNews.com | 6/13/11 12:34 PM

State

All but one county in Tennessee has revoked taxpayer funding Planned Parenthood receives now that the Metro Public Health Department will receive the $335,000 federal grant for family planning services that went to the abortion business.

Metro Health Director William Paul said in a letter Friday, according to the Tennessean, that his department will accept the federal taxpayer funding that had previously been split between Metro and Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee.

“We are confident that over time we can serve nearly the same number of clients that are currently served, and we will do what we can to ensure that these important services are not lost or adversely affected in Davidson County by this realignment,” Paul wrote in the letter to state Health Commissioner Susan Cooper, the newspaper indicated.

The decision comes as Tennessee Right to Life has been pressing the state Department of Health to keep the Planned Parenthood abortion business from getting $1.1 million in additional federal funds the state has dispersed to its affiliates in Nashville and Memphis. They have been pressing Gov. Bill Haslam to use the legal power he has over the grants to shift the funding to health departments that provide legitimate medical services for women, but not abortions.

Health Commissioner Susan Cooper wrote the two counties and urged their health departments to take over the grants. With Metro County taking over one of them, Metro Public Health will now receive $894,700 in federal grants for family planning services, according to the Tennessean. There is still the potential that the county health department could disperse the funds to Planned Parenthood, but the health department told the newspaper it would look at trying to provide the services itself.

Should Shelby County follow suit, that would have Planned Parenthood’s Tennessee affiliates de-funded in terms of the federal family planning funds the state disperses — something Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey applauded. Cooper has granted Shelby County until June 17 to respond to the Governor’s request to take over the funding from Planned Parenthood and more than $750,000 is involved in the Shelby County contract.

“We are at long last moving towards the final stages of the Planned Parenthood shell game,” he said in a statement. “It has always been the ambition of Republicans in the legislature to defund this organization. … I’d like to praise the Governor for working to completely turn off the spigot of taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood.”

Jeff Teague, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood’s Nashville chapter, told the newspaper the abortion business would have to start charging women for some things they received for free and can still receive at no cost via the health department.

“We’ve been planning for several months not to have that funding available,” he said, “so we’ve got a really strong contingency plan in place.”

Tennessee Right to Life has 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 TNRTL president Brian 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.”

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/