Planned Parenthood in North Carolina has followed through on its plans to pursue litigation against the state. North Carolina’s GOP-led state legislature recently defunded the chain of women’s health clinics.
Planned Parenthood is going to federal court to fight the new North Carolina budget that cuts it off from receiving federal and state funds for family planning.
The lawsuit filed Thursday in Greensboro by Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina says the group is being punished for its abortion-rights advocacy and that violates its free-speech protections.
The group got nearly $290,000 in federal, state and matching local funds last year to provide contraceptives to poor women and for teen pregnancy prevention.
Planned Parenthood recently lost three sources of public money. The clinics lost thousands in state funds through the Women’s Health Services Fund, which allowed them to provide contraceptive services to low-income women in the state. The group also lost money from a teen pregnancy prevention initiative. The initiative is a federal grant program given to states. The only money they received came from Medicaid.
Most importantly, though, the state was also stripped of its Title X money. According to a report by NARAL, Title X is “the cornerstone of the federal domestic family planning program: It is the only federal program exclusively dedicated to family planning an reproductive‐health services.” Despite the fact that federal law prohibits any Title X money from being used for abortion services, Planned Parenthood clinics in states like Indiana and Kansas are being defunded because abortion services are one of their many services.
A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood in North Carolina said that the cuts were a result of the state’s “political climate.”