Under the Dome

GOP finds another avenue of attack on Planned Parenthood

Anti-abortion lawmakers have made another run at Planned Parenthood through a provision in the proposed state budget.

No state money could be spent to renew or extend current contracts with any organization that provides family planning, pregnancy prevention or adolescent parenting programs if it also performs abortions.

That would end two programs operated by Planned Parenthood in North Carolina for the past 16 years: the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative in Fayetteville and the Adolescent Parenting Program in Wilmington. The current state grant amount for both programs is $135,000.

Melissa Reed, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic, said almost all of the young mothers who go through the Wilmington program do not have a second child until after high school. She said programs like in Fayettville are proven to reduce teenage pregnancy rates.

Elements of the Republican-led General Assembly have been trying to put Planned Parenthood out of business in North Carolina since 2011. They have not been successful when the fight moves into the courts.