The Obama administration reinforced its commitment to women and families, awarding significant federal family planning grants to Planned Parenthood clinics in three states that have cut the providers’ funding: New Jersey, Tennessee and North Carolina.
“Yesterday President Obama said he supports Planned Parenthood because he wants his two daughters to be able to ‘control their own health care choices,’” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement on Wednesday. “This morning we find that he once again is using euphemisms like ‘choice’ and ‘control’ to trample the rights of states and force pro-life taxpayers to fund the abortion business.”
In North Carolina the Republican controlled state legislature overrode Gov. Bev. Perdue’s (D) veto a a bill that cuts $343,000 in state money from the provider’s budget. Republicans are furious at the administration and accused President Obama of “playing politics with taxpayer money.”
Of course, the same could be said for the Republican crusade to cut funding for family planning.
According to Laura Bassett, this is the first time many of these providers have been under attack in this manner.
Paige Johnson, a spokesperson for the Planned Parenthood clinic in Durham, said that clinic has never appealed to HHS for Title X grants because it was always able to partner with the state. But after the state stopped contracting with Planned Parenthood, the clinic made the case to HHS that it is the primary provider of family planning to low-income women in the area. Under federal law, HHS is required to award grant funds in a manner that expands women’s access to care in the most cost-effective way possible in areas of the greatest need.
Other new Title X grant winners included Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis in Tennessee, and the New Jersey Family Planning League (NJFPL).
For the time being Planned Parenthood will continue to provide critical family planning services to the women of New Jersey, North Carolina and Tennessee, all thanks to the Obama administration and the Department of Health and Human Services. That last point can’t be emphasized enough, especially as women voters consider which candidate to support come November.
Photo from intelphotos via flickr.