New Hampshire Must Re-Vote on De-Funding Planned Parenthood

State   Steven Ertelt   Jun 30, 2011   |   12:48PM    Concord, NH

Last week, the members of the Executive Council rejected a taxpayer funded contract with the Planned Parenthood abortion business but it appears the members will have to vote again on voiding the 1.8 million contract.

In a move that generated little media attention or focus, New Hampshire became the latest state to scrap taxpayer funding of the Planned Parenthood abortion business when members of a panel voted 3-2 to revoke the funding. Members of the Executive Council said they made the decision because Planned Parenthood does abortions and spends large amounts of money paying its administrators huge salaries and lobbying the state government.

The Executive Council voided the contract with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) with Councilor Dan St. Hilaire of Concord casting a vote against the contract along with David Wheeler of Nashua and Raymond J. Wieczorek of Manchester. The Union Leader indicated Raymond S. Burton of Bath and Chris Sununu of Newfields supported funding the abortion business.

Now, the New Hampshire Journal obtained an e-mail from Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas, a Democrat, to council member Wheeler that it says makes it appear the council will have to re-vote on the state contracts, giving Planned Parenthood a second chance to make its case. In his letter, Toumpas admits HHS used strange budget numbers concerning the contracts and the newspaper says the wrong numbers are being used as “an excuse” to require a second vote.

Wheeler initially discovered the discrepancy in the numbers, according to the New Hampshire Journal, and contacted Toumpas about them. Toumpas will correct the numbers, but the council will be forced to vote again and the vote will not likely take place for another few weeks.

While the council approved contracts for legitimate medical centers and organizations, St. Hilaire told the newspaper that Planned Parenthood does abortions and its CEO earns in excess of $250,000 a year. St. Hilaire also cited the fact that most of the services and administration are located outside New Hampshire, in Vermont.

Commenting on the rejection of the contract, Kevin Smith, the director of the pro-life group Cornerstone Action, said he applauds “a majority of the Executive Council for scrutinizing every penny of tax-payer dollars by rejecting the contract for Planned Parenthood.”

“The taxpayers have made it very clear that they do not want one cent going towards the funding of abortions, either directly or indirectly,” Smith said. “Not to mention, it is obscene how much of PPNNE’s current revenue of $18 million is earmarked for things like overhead costs, salaries, marketing, and public policy advocacy. New Hampshire women deserve better than a “non-profit” that would deny women health services because they value administrative costs and political power above patient care.”

Smith indicated that the most recent annual report for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England shows that, of its $18 million dollars in revenue, $3,126,841 (or 16.9%) was spent on general and administrative costs, $714,877 (or 3.9%) was spent on policy advocacy spending or lobbying, $597,000 (or 3.2%) was spent on marketing and communications and $568,397 (or 3.1%) was spent on fundraising.

The trend of de-funding Planned Parenthood started last year when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a budget which eliminated about 7.5 million dollars worth of family planning funding, part of which went to the abortion business.

Indiana approved a law de-funding Planned Parenthood and North Carolina and Kansas followed with similar efforts. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has since signed a budget cutting Planned Parenthood funding and Texas Gov. Rick Perry is about to follow suit.

ACTION: Contact members of the Executive Council at http://www.nh.gov/council/ and ask them to vote against the Planned Parenthood contract.