Planned Parenthood of New Hampshire has stopped providing contraception to lower income women after the state’s executive council “rejected up to $1.8 million in funding for the group” because it also offers privately-funded abortions. As one council member, Raymond Wieczorek, put it, “I am opposed to abortion. 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.”
But now, NARAL’s Blog for Choice is reporting that the council may be reconsidering its decision:
The Executive Council will meet again [today], and could reconsider its vote to defund Planned Parenthood. If you live in New Hampshire, take action through our affiliate.
And not a moment too soon: Nick Toumpas, New Hampshire’s commissioner of health and human services, said that cuts to family-planning funding put the state at risk of losing federal dollars.
So [today] will be a test of how far these politicians want to take their attacks on women’s health care.
Since losing its state contract — which also paid for education, distributing contraception, and the testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections — Planned Parenthood clinics have “turned away 20 to 30 patients a day who have arrived to refill their birth control prescriptions.” An estimated 70 percent of patients are uninsured.
A recent national poll found that 78 percent of Americans believe the government “should subsidize birth control and other family planning services, excluding abortion, at government-funded clinics for low-income women.” Contraception improves women’s health and can help reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions. According to data from the Guttmacher Institute, 54 percent of women who have abortions “had used a contraceptive method,” but 76 percent of birth control pill users and 49 percent of condom users “report having used their method inconsistently.” Forty-six percent of women “who have abortions had not used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant.”