North Carolina Legislature Votes to Defund Planned Parenthood
The Republican-controlled General Assembly of North Carolina voted to defund Planned Parenthood late Monday night. An estimated $200,000 will be stripped from the state's two Planned Parenthood Affiliates after the General Assembly voted to override Governor Beverly Purdue's veto of the annual budget.
The General Assembly unsuccessfully attempted to defund Planned Parenthood in 2011. The attempt was defeated after a judge ruled that the Assembly could not single out the organization because of its stance on abortion. The Assembly avoided singling out Planned Parenthood in Monday's vote by mandating that the Department of Health and Human Services cannot contract with private providers of family planning services. Because Planned Parenthood is the only private provider the state contracts with, they will lose all of their state funding.
Zero state dollars currently fund abortion services in North Carolina so the loss of funding will specifically impact Planned Parenthood's ability to provide low cost, essential, and life-saving medical services to women such as cancer screenings, pap smears, and birth control. Paige Johnson of Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina said to the Huffington Post, "If we aren't able to figure something out and replace this funding...we won't be able to provide the walk-in care we currently provide."
Five other states- Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kansas, Michigan, and Oklahoma- have bills pending that seek to defund or decrease the funds available to Planned Parenthood. This year, Arizona defunded Planned Parenthood and Maine has cut $400,000 in family planning funds. Six states in 2011 passed legislation that defunds Planned Parenthood. Of those states, District Courts in Indiana, Kansas, Texas, and Tennessee have declared the laws unconstitutional and blocked them from going into effect. Wisconsin's legislation was not blocked.
Media Resources: Huffington Post 7/3/2012; Ms. Magazine Blog 7/3/2012; IB Times 7/3/2012; WTVD-TV Raleigh-Durham 7/4/2012; Feminist Daily Newswire 5/23/2012