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Planned Parenthood sues over cuts in NC budget

Posted July 7, 2011

— One of North Carolina's two Planned Parenthood affiliates filed a federal lawsuit Thursday to invalidate part of the new state budget that cuts it off from federal or state funds for family planning.

The budget written by the Republican-majority General Assembly forbids Planned Parenthood and its affiliates from receiving any contracts or grants from the state health agency.

"It's never been done in this state before to single out one organization and ban them from even applying for funds," said Janet Colm, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina.

In the suit, filed in Greensboro's federal court, the group contends that it is being punished for its abortion-rights advocacy, violating its free-speech protections.

"I think it's an attack on our patients and an attack on Planned Parenthood," Colm said. "We're being punished for our position on reproductive rights."

Republican leaders said they do not believe the ban violates any laws.

Planned Parenthood sues over budget bill Planned Parenthood sues over budget bill

"We believe the state of North Carolina ought to be able to say who is going to provide services with taxpayer dollars," Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake County, said.

He said the cuts amount to 5 percent of the organization's budget.

Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina will keep offering services through Sept. 1 at its clinics in Fayetteville, Durham and Chapel Hill, Colm said. At that point, it might have to close the Durham clinic.

Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina received $287,000 in federal, state and matching local funds last fiscal year to use for teen pregnancy prevention and family planning programs, including contraceptives for poor women, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. They stand to lose $212,000 this year. 

Planned Parenthood Health Systems Inc., which is not a party to the lawsuit, received $186,000 in federal, state and local funds last year, according to DHHS.

"Not one penny of this goes to abortions. One hundred percent of it goes to family planning and sex education for young people," Colm said, adding that her group is raising $900,000 to cover all of its services.

Those services will continue to be provided through public health departments, Dollar said. Colm said that public health departments often have long waits for services.

Planned Parenthood has also sued over bans in Kansas and Indiana. Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest provider of abortions but follows federal law that bars public money from funding abortions, representatives said.

North Carolina's measure doesn't go as far as Indiana's decision to cut off Medicaid funds for Planned Parenthood, a state health agency spokesman said. A federal judge has blocked Indiana's law, saying the state can't deny funds for general health services such as breast exams and Pap tests because Planned Parenthood also performs abortions.

North Carolina's two Planned Parenthood affiliates received $454,241 last year from Medicaid for providing poor women with general health services like cancer screenings and lab tests.

Roughly 70 percent of those served by Planned Parenthood of Central NC lack health insurance to cover their care. 

Tennessee's state budget directed that federal family planning money is to be used by government agencies and not third parties like Planned Parenthood. Lawmakers in Texas, New Jersey and in the U.S. House also have voted to cut funding to Planned Parenthood on anti-abortion grounds.

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  • obx_native13 Jul 13, 11:42 a.m.

    "So what's Planned Parenthood for again?? Another wasteful program paid for by us??"

    providing the services you just mentioned...........and if you think contraception is expensive you might want to look at the cost of child welfare services! haggis basher

    That's my point, that's what the Health Dept does, so we pay for TWO seperate government funded programs that do the same thing????

  • gunny462 Jul 8, 3:10 p.m.

    "Roughly 70 percent of those served by Planned Parenthood of Central NC lack health insurance to cover their care"

    And under Obamacare the statement will be

    "Roughly 70 percent of those served by Planned Parenthood of Central NC lack health insurance to cover their care"

    Uhh wait a minute.....

  • Bob3425 Jul 8, 2:48 p.m.

    haggis basher -- my tax dollars should be used to raise someone else child. Welfare should be time limited and then cut off or have to be paid back.

  • burlharley Jul 8, 2:40 p.m.

    Think about what has happened. The General Assembly did not renew funding for Planned Parenthood (PP), who claims that the public money is not used for abortions. However, this does not mesh with any semblance of logic. If PP takes this money and claims it is not being used for abortions, then whatever amount they accepted would be that much less of their own funds they would need, which would in part at least be used for abortions. So, in fact the money is used for abortions even though it may not be directly apportioned to do so.

    It is not the place for government to subsidize abortions. "Women's Healthcare Providers" like this are havens for people who have disregarded personal responsibility for pleasure. It is in no way a role of our state to incentivize bad decisions, and support even worse establishments. A general and widespread lack of personal responsibility is destroying our nation from within, we have traded security in our personal lives for freedom to take care of oursel

  • haggis basher Jul 8, 12:40 p.m.

    "So what's Planned Parenthood for again?? Another wasteful program paid for by us??"

    providing the services you just mentioned...........and if you think contraception is expensive you might want to look at the cost of child welfare services!

  • obx_native13 Jul 8, 12:10 p.m.

    Maybe this has already been stated or maybe I'm missing something but doesn't the Health Dept give out contraception for free and aren't there program like Medicaid for health services. So what's Planned Parenthood for again?? Another wasteful program paid for by us??

  • Snookyone Jul 8, 10:50 a.m.

    Good for Planned Parenthood. Abortion is perfectly legal.

  • affirmativediversity Jul 7, 7:53 p.m.

    Medicaid pays for these services at an actual doctor's office at the exact same amount as they do to FP. affirmativediversity Read the entire article. The legislation did not keep PP from getting medicaid funds. The people getting cut off are not eligible for medicaid. Despite what you think, if you are poor, between 18 & 65, not disabled and do not have dependent children, medicaid income limits are so low it's almost impossible to qualify per miseem

    ---------------

    First, the age limit for medicaid for children is 19 years...next there is a specific medicaid program for women who are within their reproductive years (this program is specifically for uniquely female medical services). Next, Family Planning just like every other business providing medical services can bill private insurance...FINALLY, unlike most other medical service providers Planned Parenthood characterizes themselves as "non-profit" not "governmental"...they have no RIGHT to taxpayer's money...and unlike a great

  • affirmativediversity Jul 7, 7:44 p.m.

    Apparently nothing affirmative about affirmative diversity. AS I mentioned in a previous post, and another that go cut, the problem is that the legislature banned a single, specific organization from receiving any state funds to provide legal medical services dozens of other groups are still eligible to receive. Even the services that are not eligible for state funds are still legal. That's where the argument comes from. The legislature selectively banned a group because they did not agree with their support of legal abortions. per miseem

    -------------------

    Unfortunately, you are misinformed (at best). Those funds that got cut have absolutely nothing to do with the "legal medical services" provided AND BILLED by Planned Parenthood.

    Their "provider number" with the medicaid reimbursement office is still up and running.

    Their ride on the progressive liberal gravy train has been put on hold!

  • MarcoPolo Jul 7, 7:43 p.m.

    Private business sues government for tax money.

    This is what happens when people think they're entitled to government funds. They should be sued by the State on behalf of the taxpayers for this nonsense. There's a cost to this action and these losers should pay for all of it.

    They should never get a dime ever again.

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