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New Hampshire council strips Planned Parenthood of funding


New Hampshire council strips Planned Parenthood of funding

Adam Russett July 12, 2011

Planned Parenthood has been at the forefront of some budget talks at the Federal level, but New Hampshire recently took one of the most aggressive steps toward cutting support to the health centers. Reuters reports the state's Republican executive council rejected $1.8 million in funds for Planned Parenthood, resulting in an end to free birth control pills and other contraceptives.

The council is one of the few left of its kind in the United States, and must vote to approve any state contracts that are worth more than $10,000. The five-person group voted 3-2 to strip the state's six centers of funding, and group officials say that the move could affect as many as 120 low-income women a day. Additionally, the centers also will have to stop offering regular health services ranging from pelvic exams to treatment of sexually transmitted infections.

The decision was largely based around the fact that the centers perform abortions, but those were conducted through private funding. The ruling also runs counter to the actions of the state legislature, which voted against such cuts put forward by state Republicans earlier this year. Still, the vote was a simple one for some members of the council.

"I am opposed to abortion," Raymond Wieczorek, a council member who voted against the contract, told Reuters. "I am opposed to providing condoms to someone. If you want to have a party, have a party but don't ask me to pay for it."

According to New Hampshire's Concord Monitor, the center in West Lebanon has had to turn away about 20 to 30 patients a day who came to refill birth control prescriptions, something which seems to run counter to the pro-life platform, some say.

"It's crazy to not give women birth control if you want to stop women from having abortions," practitioner at the center Anne Hildreth told the news provider.