By Dave Andrusko
In what was described by the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper as a “polite but passionate” debate, the Executive Council last night voted 3-2 to deny contracts to two Planned Parenthood offices in the Granite state.
At the same meeting, the Executive Council approved contracts for three other health service providers.
“A contract for $253,900 with the Planned Parenthood of NNE [Northern New England] in Claremont was denied, as was a contract for $385,000 with the organization’s Manchester office,” according to reporter Dave Solomon.
The action followed close on the heels of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s announcement that the state had ended its Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood.
The majority cited revelations in a series of videos released by the Center for Medical Progress as a reason to cut the funding.
“You can’t divorce what’s going on nationally from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and we need a real investigation,” said David Wheeler.
“The argument is going to be made by Planned Parenthood of Northern New England that ‘We don’t do that,’” said Joe Kenney, “but they are part of the same organization, and I think it’s extremely inhumane, astonishing and quite frightening that the national Planned Parenthood is actually collecting these fetal body parts … New Hampshire should step up and push back.”
The third vote was cast was Chris Sununu, who has consistently described himself as an abortion rights supporter. He said he had received more 1,000 phone calls on the issue, including “some from pro-choice women, urging him to vote down the contract in light of the videos, which he called ‘disgusting and horrific,’” Solomon reported.
Gov. Maggie Hassan acknowledged, Solomon noted, that
“the tone and dispassion of the (Planned Parenthood) employees speaking on those tapes was offensive and unacceptable, and will be addressed,” but said there was no grounds for a criminal investigation of the Northern New England branch as requested by Wheeler.
The chair of state Republican Party had a very different view.
“The appalling videos showing Planned Parenthood executives discussing the sale of human body parts have raised serious and legitimate concerns,” Jennifer Horn said. “Instead of calling for an investigation of Planned Parenthood’s potentially criminal activity, Governor Hassan has turned a blind eye to this controversy and tried to give more taxpayer dollars to this scandal-plagued organization.