June 1, 2012 — The North Carolina House on Wednesday voted to retain a budget amendment that would bar distribution of family planning funds to organizations other than local health departments, the Blue Ridge Times-News reports (Robertson, Blue Ridge Times-News, 5/31). The measure was one of nearly two dozen amendments discussed before lawmakers approved the budget in a 73-46 vote.
Although the amendment does not mention Planned Parenthood, it is the only organization that would be affected, according to the Charlotte Observer.
Lawmakers also tried to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood in last year's budget, but a judge ruled against the measure, allowing Planned Parenthood affiliates to received $343,000 in state contracts. Melissa Reed, vice president of public policy for Planned Parenthood Health Systems, said another lawsuit could result if the amendment becomes law.
Supporters of the amendment said it was a way to give local health departments more control over spending.
Democrats led the effort to defeat the amendment. State Rep. Rick Glazier (D) called the provision a "cutely worded amendment that is nothing more than a fig leaf covering the majority's open hostility to Planned Parenthood" (Bonner, Charlotte Observer, 5/30).