Planned Parenthood May Close North Carolina Center After De-Funding

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 12, 2011   |   10:55AM   |   Charlotte, NC

Now that North Carolina has yanked taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood, officials with the abortion business say they may close one of the Tar Heel State centers it operates in Durham.

Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina said today that it may close its Durham Health Center if the abortion giant doesn’t get a favorable court ruling from a judge who will decide whether to grant Planned Parenthood a preliminary injunction preventing the funding cuts from taking effect. PPCNC sued the state earlier this month after its sister affiliates in Indiana and Kansas filed lawsuits in those states over taxpayer funding cuts to the abortion lobby.

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 PPCNC officials say those cuts amount to 5 percent of the overall budget of the abortion business, or around $212,000. PPCNC operates centers in Durham as well as Chapel Hill and Fayetteville and the Duran facility, the only one to receive taxpayer funds, stands to lose about $131,000, or 23 percent of its budget.

“If we lose that money, we can’t sustain the Durham Health Center long-term,” Janet Colm, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, told the Herald Sun newspaper.

“This is not just a talking point about closing the center,” Colm said. “We have to think about the unthinkable.”

The decision to potentially close the Durham location would be made in part because it is the only one of the three in central North Carolina where Planned Parenthood pays rent and does not own the building outright. The Durham facility does not do abortions but makes referrals for abortions to women in nearby Chapel Hill, where abortions are done.

“This wasn’t done to save the state money,” complained Colm in her comments to the Herald Sun. “It doesn’t save it a single penny. It’s the first time in state history that a specific organization has been singled out and we think it’s a specific attack on Planned Parenthood and our patients. We believe we’re being punished because we advocate strongly for women’s reproductive rights and for abortion.”

Colm said the PPCNC board has agreed to keep the three centers open through September 1 but would potentially have to close the Durham center if the injunction is not granted. The newspaper indicates the staff at the abortion center have already been informed they could be laid off if the lawsuit is not successful.

Barbara Holt, the president of North Carolina Right to Life, says there is no reason for the state to be funding an abortion business.

“Planned Parenthood is the single largest abortion provider in the nation and our tax dollars should not go to organizations who are in the business of killing unborn children,” stated Holt. “97.6% of the services Planned Parenthood reports as involving pregnant women are abortion services.”

The lawsuit follows on the heels of a federal judge putting on hold an Indiana law denying Planned Parenthood funding through Medicaid and a lawsuit that will get  hearing in Kansas regarding a bill pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback signed in that state to de-fund the abortion giant.

Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed the state budget in part because of the Planned Parenthood de-funding but the state legislature overrode the veto.

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.

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.

In other states, Indiana approved a law de-funding Planned Parenthood and Kansas followed with similar efforts. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is about to follow suit and New Hampshire Planned Parenthood centers may close after the state revoked a $1.8 million grant. Montana Planned Parenthood is also grappling with funding cuts and one county in Tennessee de-funded Planned Parenthood.