New Hampshire leaders voted Wednesday to defund the Planned Parenthood abortion chain and other abortion groups of more than $1 million in state taxpayer dollars.
The state Executive Council rejected contracts with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Lovering Health Center and Equality Health Center in a 4-1 vote, according to the Associated Press.
The contracts would have given $1,020,329 to the abortion groups to provide family planning services such as birth control, STD tests and cancer screenings to low-income residents, according to a press release from Planned Parenthood. These services still are available from health care groups that do not provide abortions through the state Family Planning Program. The council only rejected funding to groups that do abortions.
Though the contracts do not allow tax dollars to be used for abortions directly, Republicans on the council said the money still supports the groups’ abortion practices.
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The council also rejected funding for the abortion groups in September and again in December while the state performed an audit to determine if tax dollars were being used for abortions.
The audit since has been completed, but the council members still expressed doubts. According to the AP, “Councilor David Wheeler said the information provided was not enough to prove that state money wasn’t being used directly or indirectly to pay for abortion services.”
For decades, New Hampshire had almost no restrictions on abortion whatsoever. Then, in 2020, voters elected a Republican majority to the state legislature, and several pro-life measures have passed since then.
Last year, the legislature included an item in the state budget requiring an audit of family planning funds to ensure that no tax dollars are being used for abortion. They also passed a late-term abortion ban and an ultrasound informed consent law that went into effect this month.
Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican with a mixed record on abortion, has supported some of these efforts and criticized others. Last year, he criticized the Executive Council for rejecting the contracts to abortion groups, according to In Depth NH.
“I brought these contracts forward because I support them, just as I have every year as governor, because they protect women’s health and it is the right thing to do,” Sununu said. “[The] action to vote down funding like cancer screenings and other women’s health services is incredibly disappointing and not something I agree with.”
But Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life Action, said the council is listening to New Hampshire voters.
“After SFLA engaged in New Hampshire, the State Executive Council has voted NOT to fund Planned Parenthood with tax dollars,” her organization said in a statement after the September vote. “Thank you, Councilor Dave Wheeler for his bold action. Elections matter and so does grassroots engagement. Way to go, NH!”
New Hampshire does not keep track of abortion numbers, so no one knows how many unborn babies are aborted in the state annually.
Planned Parenthood has aborted more than 8 million unborn babies since abortion became legal nation-wide in 1973. Its most recent annual report showed a record number of abortions: 354,871, which is about 40 percent of all abortions in the U.S.
Meanwhile, the same report showed that many of Planned Parenthood’s actual health services continue to decline. It provided less contraception, sterilizations, cancer screenings, adoption referrals and other women’s health services than the previous year, mirroring a continued downward trend.
Its patient numbers also have been dropping steadily over the past decade amid numerous reports of alleged unethical and illegal activities by Planned Parenthood, including selling aborted baby body parts, botching abortions that killed women, covering up the sexual abuse of minors, discriminating against pregnant and racial minority employees, exploiting young girls by selling cross-sex hormones and more.