A reader has kindly alerted me to the “family planning” line item in the proposed New Hampshire budget, due for a vote in the House tomorrow, April 5.
A bit of background: some of the family planning contractors in our state are abortion providers, who come to the Executive Council threatening denial of services to patients if the Council doesn’t hand over the money. Those providers keep saying that family planning money – specifically Title X money, awarded to states by the federal government – can’t be used for abortions. The same providers then press members of Congress to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which is all that stands between Title X and abortion.
As New Hampshire HHS Commissioner Meyers told the Executive Council in 2016, family planning grants help pay for abortion providers’ “infrastructure,” also known as overhead costs.
Numbers Get Larger
According to the Office of Legislative Budget Assistant, New Hampshire state budget family planning allocations (“contracts for program services”) grew from about a million bucks in FY 2016 to a projected $1.5 million in FY 2019, or to $1.8 million if the House Finance Committee’s request goes through. That’s quite an increase.
Some of the money comes from the state’s general fund. The gold mine, however, is in Washington, D.C. from where federal grants, including but not limited to Title X, flow to Concord for use in specific programs. Those are tax dollars, just like the money from the state general fund. In FY 2016, federal family planning money for New Hampshire came to around $700,000. For FY 2019, the governor expects $1.1 million while House Finance expects $1.4 million.
How many other New Hampshire health and human services needs are getting that kind of boost in this budget?
I’ve emailed the federal HHS department in the hope that someone there can show me data to support those projected federal numbers for FYs 2018 and 2019. The reader who suggested I take a look at the family planning budget tried that already and got an unsatisfactory answer. I’m not going to bet on getting an answer before the state budget is passed and signed.
At any rate, we’re getting a preview of Executive Council meetings yet to come. Whatever amount is approved for family planning in the next biennium, the “contracts for program services” will go through the Council. The usual contractors, including abortion providers, will be there for a piece of the ever-growing pie.