The New Hampshire Executive Council has voted to cancel the state’s contract with Planned Parenthood, rejecting up to $1.8 million in state funding for the family planning-provider. The new provision also strips its authority to dispense low-cost birth control and antibiotics to uninsured patients.
Prior to the vote, a low-income New Hampshire woman paid an average of $5 to fill a birth control pill prescription at any of the state’s six Planned Parenthood clinics. “Patients who used to be able to come to us for their pills now have to walk away,” said Jennifer Frizzell, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
“We have to send them away with a prescription knowing that without insurance, they have to pay the full cost of that at a local pharmacy, and many patients have told us they’re not gonna have the money in their budget to afford to fill those prescriptions,” Frizzell said in an interview with the Huffington Post.
The move is estimated to affect an average of 120 low-income women each day.
Although New Hampshire lawmakers rejected numerous attempts to defund Planned Parenthood during the 2011 legislative session, voting in favor of funding the organization using the state’s federal family planning money, the Executive Council must approve all state contracts greater than $10,000.
The council is composed of five republicans who voted 3-2 on June 22 to reject funding for Planned Parenthood’s six clinics in the state.
Raymond Wieczorek, a council member who voted against the contract said, “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.”
New Hampshire is the eighth state that has attempted to defund Planned Parenthood: Kansas, North Carolina, and Wisconsin have passed budgets that restrict funding to the organization; in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie used a line-item veto to block funding in the state budget for clinics that provide family-planning services; in South Dakota, Planned Parenthood argued that a law that would require a woman seek counseling at an anti-abortion pregnancy help center and then wait three days before having an abortion was unconstitutional; in Kansas, Planned Parenthood clinics managed to stay opened despite a slew of new state regulations; and in Indiana, a U.S. District Judge recently stopped the state from withholding Medicaid funds from its clinic.