July 6, 2012 — HHS has awarded Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region a three-year grant to provide family planning services, which will help offset a move by state legislators to block the distribution of Title X funds to the organization, The Tennessean reports. The grant will provide $395,000 annually (Smietana, The Tennessean, 7/5).
For more than 30 years, PPGMR has provided services such as birth control, annual wellness exams, cancer screenings and testing for sexually transmitted infections. Last year, state officials awarded federal Title X family planning funding to Christ Community Health Services instead (AP/The Tennessean, 7/5).
Barry Chase, executive director of PPGMR, said the organization previously received $700,000 annually from the state. He noted that other Planned Parenthood affiliates have applied directly to HHS for years. "It's new for us but it's not new around the country," he said.
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), who announced the grant on Thursday, said in a statement, "These new federal funds will help ensure the Title X Family Planning Program reaches those who need help the most in underserved communities" (The Tennessean, 7/5).
However, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R) said the funding represents "a culture of death" and that the state has a reason for defunding Planned Parenthood (AP/The Tennessean, 7/5).