North Carolina Republicans Budget Stops Tax-Funded Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 4, 2011   |   1:22PM   |   Charlotte, NC

The budget state Republican legislators have floated in North Carolina would end the practice of funding abortions in the state with taxpayer dollars — to the tune of $50,000 annually.

In 1978, former Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt created the State Abortion Fund to pay for abortions with public money up to 20 weeks into pregnancy. In 1995, the state legislature narrowed the parameters of the fund to allow publicly funded abortions only for women below the federal poverty line who aren’t eligible for Medicaid and limiting the funding to rare cases when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest or the life of the mother is in danger.

They also scaled back the pricetag from $1.4 million annually to $50,000 per year.

Now, a provision in the Republican budget plan would eliminate the abortion fund entirely and another section of the budget would extend the prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortions to the health insurance programs for public employees paid for at taxpayer expense.

Barbara Holt, president of North Carolina Right to Life, says the provisions are positive and worthy of support.

“It will go a long way toward reducing abortions in our state. That is definitely a good thing,” she said.

But Rep. Deborah Ross, a Democrat, is opposed to the provisions, saying, “I believe that all women, no matter their income level, should have the right to be able to choose when and whether to have children.”

State legislators are also looking to yank public funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

House Republicans approved a measure to remove federal funds from the pro-abortion organization, but the Senate declined to follow suit. Less than a week later, Republican state lawmakers in the North Carolina legislature put a provision in the budget to revoke the $473,000 the abortion business receives annually 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.

Rep. Nelson Dollar, chairman of the House appropriation subcommittee for Health and Human Services, told the Raleigh newspaper that the provision cutting funding makes it so the state can’t make any contracts with or provide grant money to Planned Parenthood specifically. He said no one is singling out Planned Parenthood because the tough economy is forcing budget cuts for many organizations and agencies.

“People are free to conjecture as they will,” the legislator told the newspaper. “There are a whole host of programs being reduced. Planned Parenthood is not unique.”

But Rep. Verla Insko, a Democrat from Chapel Hill, complained to the newspaper and said, “I see this cut as really another assault on the poor. These are very reasonable and needed services. Planned Parenthood is a trusted provider, especially with low-income women.”

Planned Parenthood currently runs nine centers across the state and it does abortions in Winston-Salem, Durham and Wilmington, though all of its abortion centers refer for abortions.

ACTION: Contact your North Carolina legislators at and urge support for de-funding Planned Parenthood and stopping tax-funded abortions.