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Planned Parenthood seeks to block North Carolina from defunding it

Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina (PPCNC) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [press release] Thursday to block the enforcement of North Carolina's budget that denies state and federal funds used to subsidize Planned Parenthood family planning services and teen sex education. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for Middle District of North Carolina [official website] to block the budget that North Carolina lawmakers passed by overriding Governor Beverly Perdue [official website]. PPCNC said that over the last fiscal year, it provided health family planning and reproductive health exams for nearly 7,000 women, as well as approximately 8,289 tests for sexually transmitted diseases. The North Carolina budget does not block Medicaid funds [WRAL report] to Planned Parenthood as the Indiana budget that was blocked [JURIST report] by a federal judge last month, but prevents PPCNC from even applying for grants. Janet Colm, president of PPCNC, released a statement denouncing the budget:

This budget may target Planned Parenthood, but the men, women and teens of North Carolina are the ultimate victims of this discriminatory legislation. This is the first time in North Carolina's history that a single health care provider has been carved out in the budget and banned from applying for competitive grants from the state. ... Not only is this bill bad policy, but it's also bad politics. We hope the court will work to protect the people we serve, and will ensure that Planned Parenthood can continue to receive state and federal funding to assist us in providing critical health services to North Carolina women, men, and teens.
PPCNC said that over the last fiscal year, it provided health family planning and reproductive health exams for nearly 7,000 women, as well as, providing approximately 8,289 tests for sexually transmitted diseases.

Last month, Perdue also vetoed [JURIST report] a North Carolina bill that would have required women seeking an abortion to wait 24 hours and to view an ultrasound of the fetus before an abortion [JURIST news archive]. Perdue called it "a dangerous intrusion into the confidential relationship that exists between women and their doctors." Indiana is appealing [JURIST report] the preliminary injunction to its denial of funding for Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) [advocacy website]. The Obama administration has taken a stance against the Indiana law an the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] filed a brief urging the court to grant an injunction [JURIST report] to stop the enforcement of the law. The ban includes disbursement of grant money, including federal Medicare funds, a provision PPIN claims is not legal under the federal Medicaid Act's "freedom of choice" provision, which allows states to disallow Medicare funding for medical providers based on deficiencies in quality of service. In May, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a pair of bills [JURIST report] that would have restricted state funding for abortions and banned them altogether after 20 weeks.

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