Texas City Cuts Taxpayer Funding of Planned Parenthood
by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
May 15, 2004
Harlingen, TX (LifeNews.com) — Planned Parenthood of Cameron and Willacy Counties has lost its financial support from the city of Harlingen — support that the abortion business says it needed for its teen conference.
In April, the city commission approved a budget that did not include an expected $6,000 of federal grant money for Planned Parenthood’s “Positive Directions” program for pregnant teenagers. The money had been directed to Planned Parenthood for the program for the past 4 years.
While Planned Parenthood officials believe pro-life advocates convinced the committee to drop its funding, the Community Development Advisory Board made its recommendation based on community input and priorities, as there was simply not enough funding for all requests.
"We have $496,000 in requests and only had $172,000 available," said Tammy De Gannes, the city’s community development director.
Rosemarie W. Herrmann, executive director of Planned Parenthood of Cameron and Willacy Counties, said she believes the city will be at a loss without the program.
Pro-life organizations disagree.
Lori Oorjitham of the local pro-life organization Stand and Be Counted, said that their members that are physicians as well as several crisis pregnancy centers offer the same services as Planned Parenthood but do not provide abortions, and are not affiliates of the nation’s largest abortion business.
"For all of the resources that they are claiming will be lost in the Valley, we are finding that’s not true," said Oorjitham.
“Public officials are finally recognizing that the abortion industry should not be subsidized with tax dollars, especially when other essential services that do not prey upon young girls are desperate for funding," Elizabeth Graham, executive director of Texas Right to Life, told LifeNews.com.
Planned Parenthood affiliates across Texas, and their supporters, have been in the spotlight recently.
In the Waco area, the Bluebonnet Council of the Girl Scouts ended a decade-long sponsorship of Planned Parenthood of Central Texas’ “Nobody’s Fool” conference for youth. Several other organizations have also ceased to support the abortion business in the wake of the Girl Scout Cookie boycott that received national attention.
Supporters of Planned Parenthood of Houston and Central Texas were notified by the Brazos Valley Coalition for Life that their affiliation with Texas’ largest abortion provider would be publicized unless they cut off their funding. Eleven groups have done so, and the names and contact information for the other organizations, including J.P. Morgan, Pfizer, and the Houston Chronicle, have been published by the Coalition for Life.