New Hampshire Defunds Planned Parenthood

It seems some Republican lawmakers oppose not only abortion, but ways to prevent abortion as well. Last week, New Hampshire’s all-Republican executive council canceled the state’s contract with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE), cutting $1.8 million in funding for the state’s six clinics. Since the cut, clinics have stopped dispensing contraceptives. Planned Parenthood representatives estimate the cuts will affect an average of 120 New Hampshire women each day. And that’s not all: “If this funding isn’t restored we… may have to start closing centers,” said PPNNE spokesperson Jennifer Frizzel to Reuters.

Critics of the decision are most concerned about access to contraception for New Hampshire’s low-income women. In 2010, PPNNE provided low-cost contraceptives to 13,242 women. Through Planned Parenthood, a woman could buy birth control on a sliding scale based on income, for an average of $5. For many, it was free. Now, those women will have to get prescriptions filled at regular pharmacies, paying anywhere from $40 to $100.

That is, if they continue to take birth control: Up to 70 percent of PPNNE’s patients are without private health insurance, and many have told the center they will no longer be able to afford The Pill, period. The clinics will likely have to cut back on other services as well, including breast exams, STD testing and cervical cancer screenings. PPNNE site manager Amanda Mehegan fears that an annual visit to Planned Parenthood may be many patients only medical attention. “I think a lot of patients really rely on that as their yearly checkup,” she said to the New Hampshire Concord Monitor.

The government contract was 20 percent of PPNNE’s budget. It was canceled because the clinics also offer privately-funded abortion services. Earlier this year, the Republican-controlled legislature attempted the same cut. When they failed, the all-Republican State Executive Council voted 3-2 to sever state funding.

In response, PPNNE has launched a campaign to renew their contract. They’ve also begun an advertising campaign asking the council members to “put women’s health above politics.”

But PPNNE advocates may have a hard battle ahead. Councilman Raymond Wieczorek flippantly told Reuters:

I am opposed to providing condoms to someone. If you want to have a party, have a party but don’t ask me to pay for it.

He echoed this sentiment in an interview with the Concord Monitor: “If they want to have a good time, why not let them pay for it?” Wieczorek apparently thinks sexual health should be a privilege only available to those who can afford it, and New Hampshire’s recent decision enforces just that.

Photo from Flickr user WeNews under Creative Commons 2.0

Comments

  1. Ok, Wieczorek, so you don’t want to spend significantly less money, but will see more women on welfare or even disability due to a botched abortion. I swear, some politicians are stupid.

  2. The colossal ignorance of this “moral minority” is unbearable. The fact that they are in many cases elected officials only serves to prove what I have suspected for a long time. Americans are idiots!

    These people-the “Bachmann-ites” and their ilk- are incapable of taking the Republicans’ ludicrous, headline grabbing ideology to its logical conclusion. i.e. No funding for contraception or abortion = MORE BABIES…Or more accurately, more babies born to POOR mothers who subsequently will be fed, clothed, educated and otherwise supported until their 18th to 25th birthday (depending on whether they go to college) by YOUR TAX DOLLARS!

    This isn’t about saving money. It’s about the wealthy elite wanting-and eventually demanding- control over every aspect of the lives of the less financially fortunate. These bastards want power, and what more delicious celebration of power exists than to control another person’s right to enjoy their own sexuality without fear of unwanted pregnancy or STD’s.

    Mark my words…These same people are out getting their “teeny-bopper” daughters “Depro” injections at the first sign of puberty.

  3. I totally agree with you. One of my aunts went through back alley abortions in the 50′s. She almost died. That would have left her 4 daughters without their mother & only parent. My aunt worked constantly to provide for her girls. They had good life but it was by no means rich or wealthy. What birth control that was available Kathleen said, the people with the money got their needs taken care of. That included safe abortions for their wives and daughters.
    It’s 60 years later and it looks like we may be headed back to those days of back alley abortions. We’re already denying affordable health care & birth control to women who can’t afford it. When Wieckorzic has to pay more in taxes to support the new generation of children that are born because of his archaic views, he might change his mind. Or not.
    Here’s an idea: We’ll make adoption madatory. We already have thousands and thousands of children in foster care. We’ll make it a lottery and start with the rich people. You get assigned a number and when it’s picked, you get a new child for your family! Whether you like it or not, that child is yours. White, black, native american, it won’t matter. Special needs, drug addicted, abused, it won’t matter. Teenager or newborn, that child will be yours to raise. And we’ll take all of the money you took from Planned Parenthood and other agencies that would have stopped the huge number of health problems and unwanted pregnancies and use to pay the for the agencies that will ensure that you do take care of these kids. Sound fair

  4. Edit to the above: “what birth control was available then was expensive and not easy to get in our area. As Kathleen said….” Sorry for the format issues.

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