Raleigh, N.C. — Republican lawmakers in the state House are trying to take funding away from Planned Parenthood in this year's budget after being rebuffed by the courts last year.
Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit group that provides a variety of women's health services. Those services in some cases include abortions, making the group a target for social conservatives in the GOP.
Last year, lawmakers tried to do something similar but a federal judge blocked the move, saying it was illegal for lawmakers to single out a individual nonprofit.
To get around the problems cited in that order, lawmakers wrote language that describes what Planned Parenthood does but doesn't specify the group:
Of the funds appropriated in this act to the Department of Health and Human Services for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, none shall be allocated to renewing, extending, or entering into new contracts for the provision of family planning services and pregnancy prevention activities with providers other than local health departments. Upon the expiration of any contracts in effect during the 2011-2012 fiscal year between the Division of Public Health and private providers of family planning services and pregnancy prevention activities, the Department shall reallocate three hundred forty-three thousand dollars ($343,000) of these contract funds to local health departments. Local health departments receiving funds under this section shall not contract with outside vendors for the provision of family planning services or pregnancy prevention activities. These services shall be provided directly by local health department recipients. This section does not apply to contracts administered by the Department pursuant to G.S. 130A-131.15A.
“What these politicians ignore is the trusted relationship our patients have with Planned Parenthood health care providers. Forcing them to go to an already overburdened health department is just playing politics with women’s health and it doesn’t save the state a dime,” said Paige Johnson, Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina.
House Democrats attempted to pluck the measure from the budget today but were voted down. That means it will likely be part of the full budget the House considers next week.