June 10, 2011

N.C. Lawmakers Bar Money to Planned Parenthood

North Carolina could soon join a growing list of states that prohibit their governments from providing money to Planned Parenthood.

North Carolina's law, however, would stand alone: It includes language that specifically names Planned Parenthood as its target.

The bill, which has been approved by North Carolina's Republican-controlled Legislature, has been on the desk of Gov. Bev Perdue for days. While her aides said they did not know her immediate plans, Ms. Perdue, a Democrat, has expressed misgivings about other budget cuts in the measure that names Planned Parenthood.

"I am prepared to veto this budget if my review indeed shows what I fear—that North Carolina will move backwards under this budget plan," she said. Still, her veto could be overridden in both chambers, which have Republican majorities.

Lawmakers this spring introduced bills to eliminate money for Planned Parenthood in Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Most of the measures would prevent clinics from getting federal dollars sent to states to cover the costs of contraceptives, cancer screenings, and checkups for Medicaid recipients.

In North Carolina, the restriction would strip more than $430,000 for poor clients seeking preventive care and efforts to prevent teenagers from getting pregnant, said Jessica Bearden Laurenz, director of public policy at Planned Parenthood Health Systems, in Raleigh.

The multiple state measures have caused many donors to send money to Planned Parenthood affiliates in the states facing challenges.

Tell us what's going on in your state. Contact Suzanne Perry to share your story.