NC Senate budget provides $250,000 to umbrella group of so-called “crisis pregnancy centers”
—The Senate budget being heard and voted on today diverts $250,000 from the Women’s Health Services Fund to go to the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship
, a religious-based group that provides staff training for so-called crisis pregnancy centers statewide. Republicans attempted to fund the Fellowship last legislative session through passage of Choose Life license plates, an effort stymied when federal court ruled the plates unconstitutional.
“Clearly, the NC Senate is more concerned with pandering to their political base than making sure that low-income women have access to real health care,” says Melissa Reed, Vice President of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina.
The Women’s Health Services Fund was established more than a decade ago to provide family planning health care to low-income women who do not qualify for Medicaid. A significant portion of the Fund was dedicated to helping women gain access to effective, long-acting contraceptive methods like IUDs that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive. More than 20% of women of childbearing age in North Carolina are uninsured.
“There’s no question. Women without insurance will lose access to affordable, effective birth control if legislators vote to give much needed Women’s Health Services funding to a group that provides no medical care,” says Paige Johnson, Vice President of External Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina.
Planned Parenthood Health Systems and Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina are affiliates of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the nation’s leading reproductive health provider, educator and advocate. The two North Carolina affiliates serve more than 25,000 women, men and teenagers every year in health centers in Asheville, Charlotte, Chapel Hill, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem.