North Carolina Becomes Third State to De-Fund Planned Parenthood
by Steven Ertelt | Charlotte, NC | LifeNews.com | 6/15/11 11:29 AM
North Carolina has become the third state to de-fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business now that both houses of the state legislature have agreed to override pro-abortion Gov. Bev Perdue’s budget veto.
The state legislature approved a measure to remove federal funds from the pro-abortion organization in its state budget. In North Carolina, the abortion business receives $434,000 through state family planning programs aimed at reducing teen pregnancies and providing birth control. Although the money can only be used for non-abortion services, the same organization is also the nation’s largest abortion business — doing more than 330,000 annually and comprising more than one-quarter of all abortions in the United States annually.
The provision would have North Carolina follow Indiana in declining to fund Planned Parenthood through the family planning program authorized under Medicaid. Indiana currently faces a lawsuit from Planned Parenthood and North Carolina could face one as well if the de-funding provision eventually becomes law under the state budget.
After the state House voted to override the veto, House Speaker Thom Tillis said “We think we’ve done something historic on several different levels” according to the Greensboro News-Record. Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, also a Republican, told the newspaper the state Senate would follow suit today and it did just that.
Republicans hold 31 seats in the 50-seat state Senate and that proved to be more than enough for the override.
Following the vote, the Planned Parenthood abortion business criticized state legislators because the budget provision “would effectively end state and federal funding for Planned Parenthood.”
Paige Johnson, Vice-President of Public Policy with Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina glossed over the abortions the business does and tried to cast the vote as opposing women’s health care, even though women have many other options available in the state for legitimate health care at low or no cost.
“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,” Johnson claimed.
Melissa Reed, Vice-President of Public Policy with Planned Parenthood Health Systems, threatened a lawsuit if the Senate upholds the veto override.
“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,” she said.
North Carolina is the third state to bar Planned Parenthood from participating in taxpayer funded programs. Thus far, state legislatures in Indiana and Kansas have passed such provisions, and the respective governors have signed them into law.
An April poll conducted by the Polling Company and WomanTrend reveals a majority of Americans, 54 percent, oppose giving tax dollars for family planning services to organizations that perform abortions. The poll also shows the intensity of this position, with 43 percent “strongly” opposing any federal funds going to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood, while just 20 percent “strongly” support federal funds going to abortion businesses.
Kellyanne Conway, the president of the Polling Company firm said the support for de-funding Planned Parenthood crosses lines on the abortion debate.
“Even 26 percent of pro-choice adherents rejected diverting taxpayer dollars for family planning organizations that provide abortions,” Conway said. “Some Americans may have positive attitudes toward Planned Parenthood, but may also reject the underlying premise that federal funding for family planning organizations should be fungible for abortions.”
Breaking down the results further, the poll found 82 percent of those who say they are pro-life responded yes when asked, “Do you support or oppose tax dollars for family planning services going to organizations that perform abortions?” Another 26 percent of people who say they are “pro-choice” on abortion agreed. Some 12 percent of pro-life people support funding Planned Parenthood while 70 percent of those “pro-choice” do.
The poll also found women opposed funding Planned Parenthood on a 51-40 percent margin, Hispanics opposed funding 47-45 percent, blacks opposed funding 62-26 percent, independents opposed funding 52-36, while 18-34 year-old respondents opposed Planned Parenthood funding on a 54-38 percent margin. People living in the South opposed funding the most.
ACTION: Contact your North Carolina legislators at http://www.ncga.state.nc.us and thank them for their efforts to support for de-funding Planned Parenthood.