June 23, 2011
Yesterday New Hampshire joined the growing number of states seeking to defund abortion giant Planned Parenthood. The trend seemed to start last year when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie passed a budget which eliminated about 7.5 million dollars worth of family planning funding.
As reported by Kevin Smith, the Executive Director of Cornerstone, the Granite states leading family policy organization:
"This has truly been a banner day for the babies here in the Granite State... in a completely unexpected and under the radar move today, the NH Executive Council (which is like our lieutenant Governor, but it's made up of 5 elected officials from across the state), which along with the Governor has to approve all state contracts above $2499 (yes, you read the correct) voted to REJECT the state contract for Planned Parenthood worth $1.8 million over the next two years!! This is simply amazing news! The vote was 3-2 and it is the first time that a state contract with PP has ever been rejected!"
The story can be found here.
Here is a list (with the legislation in question as well as the state organizations that led the way) of some of the successful efforts this year, as well as three valiant efforts that did not pass.
Successful Efforts (IN, KS, NH, NC, TX, TN, WI):
Family policy organization: Indiana Family Institute
Leading the cause to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, Indiana passed a monumental piece of legislation, HB1210, earlier this year. It has subsequently been challenged in court and U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt is expected to make a ruling by July 1st whether to grant injunction while the court case continues.
The actual text in question can be read below:
"An agency of the state may not:
(1) enter into a contract with; or
(2) make a grant to; any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed that involves the expenditure of state funds or federal funds administered by the state.
(c) Any appropriation by the state:
(1) in a budget bill;
(2) under IC 5-19-1-3.5; or
(3) in any other law of the state;
to pay for a contract with or grant made to any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed is canceled, and the money appropriated is not available for payment of any contract with or grant made to the entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed.
(d) For any contract with or grant made to an entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed covered under subsection (b), the budget agency shall make a determination that funds are not available, and the contract or grant shall be terminated under section 5 of this chapter."
Full text of the bill can be found here.
Family policy organization: Kansas Family Policy Council
In contrast to the legislative method of Indiana, Kansas effectively defunded Planned Parenthood through their state budget. This was accomplished by prioritizing the means of distributing family planning funds: first to public entities and secondly to private entities which provided comprehensive health care in addition to family planning services (something which Planned Parenthood is not equipped to do). The new budget strips about $334,000 in federal Title X funding for the organization, according to Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.
Relevant text can be read below:
Senate substitute for HB2014 Sec. 57:
(a) During the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, subject to any applicable requirements of federal statutes, rules, regulations or guidelines, any expenditures or grants of money by any state agency for family planning services financed in whole or in part from federal title X moneys shall be made subject to the following two priorities: First priority to public entities (state, county, local health departments and health clinics) and if any moneys remain then; second priority to non-public entities which are hospitals or federally qualified health centers that provide comprehensiveprimary and preventative care in addition to family planning services.
(page 85) (l)
During the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, subject to any applicable requirements of federal statutes, rules, regulations or guidelines, any expenditures or grants of money by the department of health and environment--division of health for family planning services financed in whole or in part from federal title X moneys shall be made subject to the following
two priorities: First priority to public entities (state, county, local health departments and health clinics) and, if any moneys remain, then, Second priority to non-public entities which are hospitals or federally qualified health centers that provide comprehensive primary and preventative care in addition to family planning services: Provided, That, as used in this sub-
section ``hospitals'' shall have the same meaning as defined in K.S.A. 65-425, and amendments thereto, and ``federally qualified health center'' shall have the same meaning as defined in K.S.A. 65-1669, and amendments thereto.
Family policy organization: Cornerstone Action
The Executive Council, a body of five elected councilors, is responsible for approving the expenditure of state and federal funds within New Hampshire. They work with ther Commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services and the Attorney General to manage the business of the state. On Wednesday, June 22nd, the Council voted 3 -2 against funding a contract in the amount of 1.8 million dollars with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
According to Union Leader.com, Councilor Dan St. Hilaire said the Planned Parenthood contract "differed (from other health provider contracts) in that the organization directly provides abortions, it's CEO earns in excess of $250,000 a year, and most of its services and administration are located out of state in Williston, Vt."
For more information about the Executive Council go here
Family policy organization: North Carolina Family Policy Council
Similar to Kansas, the North Carolina legislature successfully voted to defund Planned Parenthood through their budget, overriding the governors veto. According to a Reuters article, Planned Parenthood said it received just over $434,000 a year through state grants and programs about 4 percent of the group's budget for operating nine health centers in North Carolina. The funding for Planned Parenthoods participation in public health programs will end on July 1.
The actual bill text states:
PROHIBIT USE OF ALL FUNDS FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD ORGANIZATIONS
SECTION 10.19. For fiscal years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, the Department of Health and Human Services may not provide State funds or other funds administered by the Department for contracts or grants to Planned Parenthood, Inc., and affiliated organizations.
Family policy organization: Family Action Council of Tennessee
The path to defund Planned Parenthood in TN was long and not without mishaps. Initially legislators sought to defund through an amendment to the budget (Section 78) which read that funds allocated for womens health services shall be used fully by government-run health agencies and none shall be paid to third-party providers or private organizations or entities. However, at the last moment a mystery amendment was snuck in to the budget which stated: Section 78 of this act shall not be construed to supersede applicable provisions of federal and state law. Due to the complicated nature of the various provisions of law referenced, there was legal doubt over the validity of the defunding amendment.
In effort to try and reduce some of the dismay and confusion among lawmakers, he Lt Governors office released the following statement:
The confusion surrounding the language in the budget regarding Planned Parenthoodhas been unfortunate. The Office of Legal Services advised House and Senate leadership that it is unconstitutional to amend general law through the appropriations bill (Article II, Section 17), an interpretation which would have put the entire budget document in jeopardy. It was not our intent to allow funding for Planned Parenthood. Our majority in the General Assembly clearly meant to defund them. We are currently working with pro-life activists to resolve this issue with legislation and we will put it to rest immediately upon the legislatures return in January.
Many citizen urged Governor Haslam to use his executive power to fix the mistake in the recently passed budget. Finally, on June 11th the Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey announced that Governor Haslam had asked the State Health Department to pressure the states two largest counties, Davidson and Shelby Counties, to provide family planning services through their respective county health departments (as the other 93 counties in TN currently do) instead of contracting with Planned Parenthood and granting them state funds to provide family planning services on behalf of those two counties.
We are at long last moving towards the final stages of the Planned Parenthood shell game, said Lt. Gov. Ramsey. It has always been the ambition of Republicans in the legislature to defund this organization. I was proud to lead the charge to turn over family planning services to the county health departments effectively defunding the organization in 93 out of 95 counties. Id like to praise the Governor for working to completely turn off the spigot of taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood.
Read more at
Family policy organization: Liberty Institute
Texas, similar to Kansas used a funding prioritization method in their recently passed 2012-2013 budget:
The Department of State Health Services shall allocate funds appropriated above in Strategy B.1.3, Family Planning Services using a methodology that prioritizes distribution and reallocation to first award public entities that provide family planning services, including state, county, local community health clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and clinics under the Baylor College of Medicine; secondly, non-public entities that provide comprehensive primary and preventative care as a part of their family planning services; and thirdly, non-public entities that provide family planning services but do not provide comprehensive primary and preventative care.
My San Antonio reports: "Now that the dust has settled on the recently passed 2012-13 budget, the state's family planning money now hovers at $38 million $73 million less than the $111 million allocated in the current biennium."
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
Another bill currently under consideration, SB 7, would further increase funding prioritization and prohibit public hospitals and facilities who receive public funds from performing abortions.
Family policy organization: Wisconsin Family Council
According to a Huffpost Politics article, Governor Scott Walker (R) is expected to sign a budget bill that eliminates state and federal funding from nine of the state's Planned Parenthood health centers. It directs federal Title V family planning dollars to public health agencies and prohibits them from giving the funds to organizations or its affiliates that provide abortions or abortion referrals.
The article states the new budget would eliminate $1 million a year in funding for nine of Wisconsin's 25 Planned Parenthood clinics.
Unsuccessful Efforts (MN, MT, NH ):
Family policy organization: Minnesota Family Institute
A bill (SF1224) was introduced that would have prohibited all state family planning funds from going to any organization that performs abortions or is associated with an organization that performs abortions. Unfortunately it did not pass the chamber of origin. The actual text states:
"Family planning grant funds" means funds distributed through the maternal and child health block grant program under sections 145.881 to 145.883, the family planningspecial projects grant program under section 145.925, the program to eliminate healthdisparities under section 145.928, or any other state grant program whose funds are or may be used to fund family planning services.
Subd. 2. Uses of family planning grant funds. No family planning grant funds may be:
(1) expended to directly or indirectly subsidize abortion services or administrativexpenses;
(2) paid or granted to an organization or an affiliate of an organization that providesabortion services, unless the affiliate is independent as provided in subdivision 4; or
(3) paid or granted to an organization that has adopted or maintains a policy in writing or through oral public statements that abortion is considered part of a continuum of family planning services, reproductive health services, or both.
Subd. 3. Organizations receiving family planning grant funds. An organization that receives family planning grant funds:
(1) may provide nondirective counseling relating to pregnancy but may not directly refer patients who seek abortion services to any organization that provides abortion services, including an independent affiliate of the organization receiving family planning grant funds. For purposes of this clause, an affiliate is independent if it satisfies the criteria in subdivision 4, paragraph (a);
(2) may not display or distribute marketing materials about abortion services to patients;
(3) may not engage in public advocacy promoting the legality or accessibility of abortion; and
(4) must be separately incorporated from any affiliated organization that provides abortion services.
Subd. 4. Independent affiliates that provide abortion services. (a) To ensure that the state does not lend its imprimatur to abortion services and to ensure that an organization that provides abortion services does not receive a direct or indirect economic or marketing benefit from family planning grant funds, an organization that receives family planning grant funds may not be affiliated with an organization that provides abortion services unless the organizations are independent from each other. To be independent, the organizations may not share any of the following:
(1) the same or a similar name;
(2) medical facilities or nonmedical facilities, including, but not limited to, businessoffices, treatment rooms, consultation rooms, examination rooms, and waiting rooms;
(4) employee wages or salaries; or
(5) equipment or supplies, including, but not limited to, computers, telephone systems, telecommunications equipment, and office supplies.
(b) An organization that receives family planning grant funds and that is affiliated with an organization that provides abortion services must maintain financial records that demonstrate strict compliance with this subdivision and that demonstrate that its independent affiliate that provides abortion services receives no direct or indirect economic or marketing benefit from the family planning grant funds.
Family policy organization: Minnesota Family Foundation
The Montana Legislature passed a two year budget rejecting federal family-planning funds in the amount of about $4.7 million.
According to an article in the Missoulian, House and Senate Republicans had also voted to remove $1 million in state funding for family planning clinics and rejected a Schweitzer administration proposal to spend another $1.2 million in state and federal funds for higher access to birth control.
The article states that Planned Parenthood, the most prominent abortion provider in Montana, receives about half of the $5.7 million in state and federal family-planning money, for use at its health clinics in Billings, Missoula, Helena and Great Falls.
Rejection of the federal money was a bold statement by lawmakers that they did not want to subsidize the abortion giant Planned Parenthood and other organizations that perform abortions with taxpayer money. Unfortunately when the budget was presented to democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer, he used his amendment power to restore funding to Planned Parenthood and pressured the legislature to approve his amendments.
NOTE: NH was ultimately successful in defunding PP through the Executive Council. The following refers to their legislative attempt.
Family policy organization: Cornerstone Action
House Bill 228 specifically named Planned Parenthood and forbid the state from entering into any grants or contracts with that organization or other abortion providers. It also forbid the use of public funds for abortions or to pay any health insurance costs for policies that cover abortions.
This section does not prohibit the state from complying with the requirements of federal law relative to Title XIX and Title XXI of the Social Security Act.
The methodology of the bill states: The Department of Health and Human Services states this bill prevents the Department from contracting with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. The Department stated the current contract with Planned Parenthood is in the amount $794,370 of which $428,960 is federal Title X funds and $365,410 is state general funds. Under the contract, Planned Parenthood provides family planning services, reproductive healthcare, HIV testing, STD testing and treatment, and health education. The Department states federal law prohibits these funds from being used to fund abortions. The Department assumes that, without this contract, the federal funds would be returned to the federal government and the general funds would be returned to the general fund.