By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
RALEIGH — Lawmakers’ efforts to keep state funding out of the hands of the nation’s largest abortion provider have been thwarted, at least temporarily, by a ruling issued Aug. 19 by U.S. District Judge James Beaty Jr.
Apparently believing Planned Parenthood’s claims that an estimated $212,000 loss in funding — roughly 5 percent of the organization’s budget — would result in “irreparable harm,” Judge Beaty wrote that Planned Parenthood Central North Carolina had “effectively shown that no other public health departments or other agencies in the affected area would be able to meet this need (for health services, including family planning services, particularly for low-income women) in the interim as effectively as PPCNC.”
According to his ruling, North Carolina cannot withhold funding until a lawsuit over Section 10.19 of the state budget has been resolved. The section prohibits the state’s Department of Health and Human Services from providing state or federal funds to Planned Parenthood.
Similar bans on Planned Parenthood funding have come under fire in other states as well with judges accusing states of punishing the organization for its role in providing abortions. Supporters of Planned Parenthood continually point out that the funding in question is not for abortions, but other services.
However, according to Ph.D Randall K. O’Bannon, who has tracked the activities of Planned Parenthood Federation of America for the last two decades, “The revenue Planned Parenthood receives in government grants and contracts has gone from $165 million in 1998 to $363.3 million in the organization’s fiscal year ending June 30, 2009. During the same time, and at roughly the same rate, abortions have more than doubled at Planned Parenthood, from 165,609 in 1998 to 332,278 in 2009. All this while abortions in the U.S., as a whole, dropped by about 25 percent.”
“With these kind of statistics, no one can deny that giving grants to Planned Parenthood is supporting an organization that is heavily invested in and deriving enormous income from abortion,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “We were hopeful that our Legislature could change that and still believe they can, either by appealing the ruling or tweaking the budget provision when they are back in session.”
Barbara Holt, president of N.C. Right to Life, reiterated her support of the state’s ban of Planned Parenthood funding.
“Our tax dollars should not go to organizations like Planned Parenthood which are in the business of killing unborn children,” she said. “Based on Planned Parenthood’s own 2009 reports, 97.6 percent of pregnant women who come to Planned Parenthood get abortions.”
According to the Associated Press, House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) said Wednesday that legislative leaders are discussing the judge’s ruling with the Attorney General’s Office. He said it is possible the budget provision could be rewritten to avoid further litigation while keeping the law’s original purpose.
Lawmakers are set to return to Raleigh Sept. 12.