Earlier this year, New Hampshire was one of the many states to attempt to defund Planned Parenthood locally, with their executive council voting 3-2 to end state funding to the clinic in order to “protect taxpayers from funding abortions.”
As with many of the other states, the Health and Human Services department has intervened, in this case to provide their own grant money to the health clinics directly, circumventing the state all together.
And the council is furious.
Calling it an “urgent replacement grant” that would “minimize the interruption of needed clinical services and to protect the public health in New Hampshire,” the administration is offering $1.1 million in funding for reproductive care, screenings and birth control for women and men who are unable to pay for their own health care. The grant would make up a large portion of the $1.8 million that the five member state committee cut.
But those three members who wanted the funding stripped are criticizing the HHS for simply stepping in and overruling them. Despite the fact that the grant would save the state the nearly $2 million it cut and still provide low income adults with contraception and other health care services, the members are complaining about having their executive powers thwarted. Because it was never about saving money, it was about trying to close the state’s clinics.
Even at the expense of more unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease.
Does a state have a right to decide what businesses are and aren’t allowed to operate in its state? And does the federal government have the right to go over their head and provide the funding to allow that business to operate, especially if the administration believes it serves a greater good? You can bet both questions will be asked repeatedly as the battle between Republicans and Planned Parenthood gets even uglier.
Photo credit: PeacoToons