North Carolina officials are examining a potential appeal of a recent judge’s ruling saying the state must fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business while the court move forward with hearings on the lawsuit it filed.
The state legislature approved a measure to remove federal funds from the pro-abortion organization in its state budget. 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.
Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina (PPCNC) filed suit in federal court to declare invalid the portion of the state budget that yanks its tax money. Planned Parenthood CEO Janet Colm claims the abortion chain is wrongly singled out for a revocation of tax dollars and complains the abortion business may have to close or scale back offices and potentially lay off staff if the funding is not received.
U.S. District Court Judge James Beaty heard arguments from both sides in Winston Salem earlier this month and, on Friday, he ordered North Carolina to honor its contract with Planned Parenthood pending the outcome of the lawsuit. Beaty issued a preliminary injunction siding with the abortion giant in its demand to receive $212,000 of the funds.
Now, Speaker Thom Tillis said Wednesday that he doesn’t know if North Carolina will appeal the ruling, but he told AP he is talking with the state Attorney General’s Office about a potential appeal of the injunction. Tillis also says lawmakers are looking at rewriting the budget provision as early as September to word it in a way that gets around the arguments Planned Parenthood makes in it lawsuit.
In his decision, Judge Beaty said health department Secretary Lanier Cansler must renew the funding, writing, “The court expects defendant Cansler to follow all applicable state and federal laws and regulations” and warning that “further proceedings would be appropriate” if the state doesn’t comply. The state had a contract in place for 2011-2012 that he ruled it must honor.
Beaty also said in his ruling that the decision to de-fund Planned Parenthood wrongly contravened federal law authorizing funding for the abortion business via the federal family planning program and he said the budget provision wrongly singled out a specific organization for de-funding.
Colm issued a statement saying the abortion business is “deeply grateful that the court has stopped the state from enforcing the ban prohibiting Planned Parenthood from” getting taxpayer funding.
The abortion giant has already sued the states of Kansas and Indiana for adopting new legislation to revoke the taxpayer financing from the group that has been shown to be the biggest abortion business in the country, to cover up cases of sexual abuse, and to assist sex traffickers in getting abortions for the girls on whom they prey.
Barbara Holt, the president of North Carolina Right to Life, supported the move to revoke taxpayer financing.
“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.”
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.
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.”
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 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. Kansas is fighting to keep its de-funding decision in place.
Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin is making cuts after the abortion business lost $1 million in taxpayer funding there. Ohio lawmakers also filed a new bill to shift funding from Planned Parenthood to health departments. Planned Parenthood could lose as much as $64 million in Texas.