Tag Archives: defunding

Judge Rejects TN Planned Parenthood Defunding Law

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge in Nashville has blocked Republican leaders’ efforts to keep Planned Parenthood of Tennessee from participating in venereal disease prevention programs. The efforts are federally funded, but administered by the state and are aimed at reducing the infection rate of HIV and syphilis.
The Commercial Appeal (http://bit.ly/Ywffwu) reported U.S. District Court Judge William J. Haynes Jr. issued his ruling Wednesday, barring the state from defunding Planned Parenthood in contracts totaling more than $171,500 last year.
In his ruling, Haynes noted a political and legislative history of Republican efforts to cut the organization’s funding because Planned Parenthood also performs abortions. He cited statements from then-candidate Bill Haslam, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and Sen. Stacey Campfield.
The court noted a statement in which Ramsey called Planned Parenthood “the largest abortion provider in the country” and said, “It has always been the ambition of Republicans in the legislature to defund this organization.”
Barry Chase, CEO of Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region, said the agency is “thrilled that the court has permanently stopped the state from impermissibly barring Planned Parenthood from providing critical disease prevention education and services. Politics should never interfere with Tennesseans’ access to critical medical services.”
Planned Parenthood has received positive reviews over the last decade of administering the program, for which the contracts are let through competitive bidding.

Defunding Planned Parenthood a Political Problem for GOP?

Tennessee Republican “might suffer politically” from efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, suggests Jeff Woods in a report that says the move could cause “serious disruptions” in services to low-income women of Nashville and Memphis “leading to illnesses, unwanted pregnancies and more abortions.”
State Democratic Party chairman Chip Forrester calls it “right-wing ideologues cramming their social agenda down the throats of Tennesseans least able to afford it.”
“This is partisan politics at its absolute worst,” he said. “These funds have nothing to do with abortion. They provide very basic medical care for women who are least able to afford it, and now we have women in our community who will not have access to these vital services.”
The governor has tried to cater to social conservatives without upsetting centrist swing voters by appearing insensitive to women’s health needs.
Even while pressuring the Nashville and Memphis health departments to defund Planned Parenthood, he insisted his “primary concern” was to “make certain we keep taking care of the people we take care of.”
Told that health officials fear thousands of women might lose services once Planned Parenthood is denied federal money beginning in July, the governor wouldn’t acknowledge the problem.
“It’s news to me if that’s true,” he said. “Nobody’s told me that.”
….Conservative (Nashville) talk-radio host Steve Gill, who hammered away on the air about this issue after this year’s legislative session, insisted it’s smart politics for Republicans. He claimed Planned Parenthood is using the federal grant to entice women into their clinics for abortions.
” ‘Republicans are causing poor women to die because they are getting cervical cancer.’ Is that going to be Planned Parenthood’s spin? Absolutely,” Gill said. “Is that going to be amplified by the media? Absolutely. If those two things happen, will it hurt Republicans? Absolutely. But if the truth comes out, then Planned Parenthood will not be welcomed or embraced by the voters.”