News & Updates: New Jersey, North Carolina, & (more!) Kansas

First up is New Jersey. Recently NJ's governor Christie line-item vetoed several parts of the state's budget. Those parts are, as you'd expect, social services including family planning. On Monday the state Dems attempted to override the vetoes. Unfortunately, they failed on all measures:
TRENTON — In a day high on emotion but short on results, Senate Democrats on Monday tried to undo 15 of Gov. Chris Christie’s budget cuts to social welfare programs, one by one.

They failed 15 times.


The only Republican to vote against her colleagues — indeed, the only member of her party to vote against a Christie veto since he took office — was State Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth), who sided with Democrats to restore $7.5 million for family planning clinics.


As the session wore on, tempers flared. While debating the $7.5 million for family planning, state Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen) said “a significant portion of it would go to an organization like planned parenthood, which is in my mind a promoter of child prostitution.”
Cardinale's remarks were shouted down, though to no avail.


In North Carolina, a Raleigh clinic was vandalized when someone spray-painted "baby murder" and "you shall not murder" on the building. The clinic does not offer abortion services.

Besides vandalism, Planned Parenthood in North Carolina is facing defunding from a republican-drafted budget. They have gone to court to block that from happening and have requested an early hearing:
Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina said it would probably have to close a Durham health clinic, end a teen pregnancy prevention program, and lay off eight employees if a judge doesn't step in by September.
Wow, there's some great job creation right there. By the way, the Durham clinic does not provide abortion services.


And now, Kansas. Yes, there's more from Kansas.

Back in May Kansas jumped on the bandwagon of defunding Planned Parenthood, which has brought the state to court. So, the state has hired Koch Bros-affiliated attorneys to defend itself:
[T]he state of Kansas has hired an expensive team of private attorneys — the same attorneys who represent the billionaire Koch brothers — to defend the state against Planned Parenthood in court.

The state typically employs its attorney general as a defense counsel at no extra cost to Kansas taxpayers. But defendants Gov. Sam Brownback and Robert Moser, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, filed a motion to delay their court hearing on Friday because they had hired Foulston Siefkin, a private law firm, to handle the case.
Huh. I had no idea the state of Kansas had so much money laying around! Planned Parenthood, by the way, is being represented by pro-bono attorneys.

Now this business of defunding Planned Parenthood and the Title X money has not affected just Planned Parenthood: a small clinic in the relatively small city of Dodge City is facing closure. Dodge City Family Planning Clinic was started 35 years ago because the then-state health dept couldn't do family planning services. The clinic does not provide abortion services but does provide contraception, other women's health services, plus some health care for men. Their patients are low income and under/un-insured people. However thanks to this vendetta against Planned Parenthood, the clinic is looking at a $39K hole in its budget and the future is looking pretty bleak:
Clinic director Karla Demuth learned last month that the clinic would not receive federal dollars in 2012, due to a budget provision that cut off federal family-planning funding for Planned Parenthood. The provision says federal money for family planning must go first to public health departments and hospitals, leaving no money for Planned Parenthood.


The clinic normally receives federal dollars through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The United Way of Dodge City provides some funding, and service fees make up the rest of the clinic's $100,000 budget.

But the clinic has lost $39,000 in federal funding — roughly 39 percent of its budget — because it does not qualify for family-planning money under the new law, Demuth said Monday.

"We don't provide primary care," she said. "We're not with the health department. We're not a federally qualified health clinic. Therefore, we're ix-nayed."
Ford County, where the clinic is located, is apparently aware of this situation but commissioners haven't decided what, if anything, to do about it.
In the meantime, Demuth said she has considered raising clinic fees to generate more revenue but has not made a decision yet. But she worries that boosting fees will discourage people from seeking medical services.

"We're here for the people that can't pay," she said. "So you try to be sure to offer services for those, but you can't stay open by sliding fees."
Ah, the "culture of life": eliminating health care & health education, reducing access to health care, putting people out of business, and putting people out of jobs.

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