By M.H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
August 7, 2015
RALEIGH – Much of the country was appalled recently to learn that Planned Parenthood has been harvesting and selling body parts of aborted babies. The shocking disclosure came about as a result of the release of five undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress. Since the revelation, calls for defunding the nation’s largest abortion provider have been intense.
The Family Research Council (FRC) notes that Planned Parenthood is a non-profit organization that received as much as $528 million in federal, state and local government grants and contracts in 2013 – 2014, and reports a total revenue of over $1.3 billion.
This week, the United States Senate was to take-up S.1881 – A Bill to Prohibit Federal Funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Both of North Carolina’s Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis joined 51 other U.S. Senators in support of the measure, but a procedural motion to bring the bill before the Senate failed to garner the 60 votes needed to overcome a Democratic filibuster. Pro-life lawmakers have vowed, however, not to give up the fight until there is no more federal funding for the abortion giant.
During the 2011-2012 state’s fiscal year, the Republican dominated North Carolina General Assembly became the third state in the nation to defund Planned Parenthood. Lawmakers had tucked a provision into the budget bill that ended more than $430,000 in state funds from going to the organization and its affiliates. It was a historic moment for the state, not simply for the pro-life victory entailed, but because state lawmakers had overcome a budget veto by then Governor Bev. Perdue.
Less than two months afterward, U.S District Judge James Beaty, Jr. granted Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina a request for a Preliminary Injunction to prevent the defunding from taking effect, while the group pursued a lawsuit against the state in order to restore the funding. Beaty agreed with Planned Parenthood that they would suffer “irreparable harm,” and contended the legislature had singled them out, therefore, violating “the bill of attainder clause”, an act by lawmakers that declares a group guilty of some crime and punishes them without a trial.
Therefore, in 2012, when Republican lawmakers were taking up the state’s budget matters, they created an end-run around the legal challenges. The new legislation for the budget prevented the state’s Health and Human Services Department from contracting with “private providers” of groups that furnish abortions, effectively ending any funding to Planned Parenthood while not explicitly referencing or singling them out.
The provision in the 2012 budget simply read:
FUNDS FOR FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES BY LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS
SECTION 10.12. Of the funds appropriated in this act to the Department of Health and Human Services for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, none shall be allocated to renewing, extending, or entering into new contracts for the provision of family planning services and pregnancy prevention activities with providers other than local health departments. Upon the expiration of any contracts in effect during the 2011-2012 fiscal year between the Division of Public Health and private providers of family planning services and pregnancy prevention activities, the Department shall reallocate three hundred forty-three thousand dollars ($343,000) of these contract funds to local health departments. Local health departments receiving funds under this section shall not contract with private providers for the provision of family planning services or pregnancy prevention activities. These services and activities shall be provided directly by local health department recipients or by other governmental entities contracted by local health department recipients. This section does not apply to contracts administered by the Department pursuant to G.S. 130A-131.15A.
“That being said,” said Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, “I was under the assumption Planned Parenthood had already been effectively defunded in our state. But since the videos came out and the debacle from it that ensued and the public outcry, the Christian Action League has been double-checking and hearing from some of its colleagues and friends in the legislature that there may have been a loop-hole in state law that the organization has employed to get state funds. I can’t confirm this. We’re still looking into it.”
Dr. Creech added the North Carolina General Assembly is currently a predominantly pro-life body. He says they have passed a number of critical pieces of pro-life legislation in the last three years that have unquestionably saved thousands of unborn children in the Tar Heel state.
His praise was clearly substantiated by Speaker of the House, Tim Moore’s (R, Cleveland) released statement on Wednesday. Speaker Moore wrote:
“I admire the effort lead by Senate Majority Leader McConnell and supported by N.C. Senators Burr and Tillis to advance a bill that once and for all defunds Planned Parenthood, but am very disappointed it did not receive the votes to advance. I do not support taxpayer dollars going to organizations who perform offensive and negligent acts on the unborn.”
Moore added a promise, saying:
“As we continue the development of our state budget, I will work to include language in the final document that states in no uncertain terms, no state funds will go to organizations that are involved in the reprehensible practice of profiting from the sale of a baby’s remains.”
“I firmly believe if there is state funding going on that has escaped everyone’s attention, we’re going to eventually find it,” said Dr. Creech. “And I’m quite certain our current pro-life legislature will get to the bottom of the matter and make sure no taxpayer monies are going to an organization involved in something as Naziesque as killing and selling baby body parts.”
Take Christian Action:
Contact your lawmakers in both the N.C. House and Senate and urge them to make doubly sure no state funds are being provided to Planned Parenthood in North Carolina.
If you do not know who represents you in the N.C. House and Senate, go to WRAL’s Find Your Lawmakers and type in your address. It will provide you with their contact information.