NH Council Defunds Planned Parenthood

Group no longer able to dispense low-cost birth control after contract axed
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2011 5:47 AM CDT
New Hampshire's Executive Council, the most powerful such body in the US, is housed in the Concord statehouse.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – In New Hampshire, a five-member council has overruled the state legislature and cut off $1.8 million in funding to Planned Parenthood. The state's Republican-dominated Executive Council, which must approve all state contracts greater than $10,000, has axed state funding for the group and removed its authority to dispense low-cost birth control and antibiotics to the uninsured. "I am opposed to abortion," a council member tells 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. "

The council, a vestige of British rule, is independent of the governor. Few other states have equivalent bodies. "Not only was this vote unanticipated, but it's a little bit of a reach when the council is using its role to act as a super-legislature. We don't get a hearing to make our case or rebut their concerns," a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman tells the Huffington Post. "If you're against abortion, you ought to be leading the way on birth control," she added.

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