Here’s a great move on the part of the Obama administration. They’re giving out Title X grants to Planned Parenthood family planning clinics that have been defunded by state legislatures, helping to keep their doors open to continue serving the medical needs of woman and families.
Ten Republican-controlled state legislatures have voted to defund Planned Parenthood since the 2010 midterm elections, but the clinics affected by the cuts will not have to shut their doors any time soon. The Obama administration so far has awarded hefty new federal family planning grants to Planned Parenthood clinics in three states that have cut the providers’ funding: New Jersey, Tennessee and North Carolina.
A Planned Parenthood clinic in Durham, N.C., was awarded a $426,000 Title X grant on Wednesday, just weeks after the state legislature overrode Gov. Bev Perdue’s (D) veto and cut $343,000 in state money from the provider’s budget. Anti-abortion lawmakers and advocacy groups are furious that the Department of Health and Human Services seems to have circumvented state legislatures to continue funding an organization they oppose…While Obama supports Planned Parenthood, the direct Title X grants are not exactly unusual: HHS has contracted directly with Planned Parenthood providers for years, including under former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. But the Planned Parenthood clinics that are receiving new federal grants this year are applying for those grants for the first time after defunding in their states created a need for federal money.
Paige Johnson, a spokesperson for the Planned Parenthood clinic in Durham, said that clinic has never appealed to HHS for Title X grants because it was always able to partner with the state. But after the state stopped contracting with Planned Parenthood, the clinic made the case to HHS that it is the primary provider of family planning to low-income women in the area. Under federal law, HHS is required to award grant funds in a manner that expands women’s access to care in the most cost-effective way possible in areas of the greatest need.