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NC Planned Parenthood Budget Threatened, Again

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012   

RALEIGH, N.C. - Funding for Planned Parenthood in North Carolina is once again in question.

The House 2012 budget, expected to move to a floor vote this week, prohibits state funds from going to private nonprofit organizations for the purposes of family planning or pregnancy prevention. While this year's proposal doesn't name the organization outright as it did last year, Paige Johnson, vice president for public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, says her group is the only one that would be affected.

"Planned Parenthood is the only organization being targeted. This is just a thinly veiled attempt to deny Planned Parenthood access to state funding to provide preventive health care."

Last year, the organization sought and won a temporary injunction against the state when lawmakers specifically named Planned Parenthood and tried to deny funding to the organization.

If Planned Parenthood funding is eliminated, the Legislature would shift the $343,000 to local health departments instead. The proposal is not a cost-cutting measure, Johnson says, adding that it likely would place an additional burden on health departments that are already struggling to meet community needs.

"This provision does not save the state one dime - not one dime. This is not a cut to Planned Parenthood, it's a ban on Planned Parenthood receiving the funding."

Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina serves 25,000 women and men annually. Those who want to eliminate its funding say health departments can handle the additional demand if the funding is allocated to them. But several health departments in the state, including those in Wake and Cumberland counties, say they have two- to three-month waits for preventive care services.

Planned Parenthood serves people in Asheville, Charlotte, Chapel Hill, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Raleigh, Winston-Salem and Wilmington.

Reporting for this story by North Carolina News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest. Media in the Public Interest is funded in part by Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.


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