New Hampshire Executive Council reinstates PP $$$

Executive Councilors Chris Sununu (with contracts) and Colin VanOstern (at right) enter the Council chamber prior to vote.
Executive Councilors Chris Sununu (with contracts) and Colin VanOstern (at right) enter the Council chamber prior to vote.

As I reported via social media earlier today from the New Hampshire Executive Council chamber, the Council today approved a family planning contract with two abortion providers, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and the Joan Lovering Center. The vote was 3-2, with Councilor Chris Sununu in the majority. Sununu voted in favor of a PP contract in 2011 but against one last year.

Today’s contract was a second bite at the apple for PPNNE after being denied a contract by the Council last August. Part of the funds under today’s contract are considered retroactive, meaning PPNNE will get taxpayer dollars for this fiscal year despite last August’s Council vote against such funding.

Councilors Colin VanOstern and Chris Pappas joined Sununu in supporting the contracts today. David Wheeler and Joe Kenney said no.

Read more about the day’s events here and here.

Rallies to precede Executive Council vote tomorrow

Mary Simpson brought a blunt message to State House Plaza.
A State House rally preceded the last PPNNE & Lovering contract votes.

The New Hampshire Executive Council is less than 18 hours away from voting on contracts with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and the Lovering Center, both abortion facilities. This is a second bite at the current-fiscal-year apple for PP, whose last bid for a family planning contract was rejected by the Council on a 3-2 vote.

Those who want to keep taxpayers free from collusion with abortion providers will rally before the Council meeting. So will those who think reduction in taxpayer funding is an attack on health care (“but they do so much good…!). 

New Hampshire Right to Life is organizing the rally in opposition to the contracts. 

The Council meeting itself begins at 10 a.m. in the Council chambers on the second floor of the State House. The agenda has dozens of items; the PP/Lovering contracts are agenda item #30.

Before last August’s vote, I took note of PPNNE’s financial reports, which are part of this year’s contract bid as well as last year’s.

According to the 2014 financial report for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England – a report that is part of Wednesday’s contract proposal — PPNNE spent  $998,262 on fundraising last year, $1.5 million on public policy work, and $214,000 on marketing and communication.

The PPNNE contract up for a vote on Wednesday is for $539,304. In view of PPNNE’s $20 million overall budget and more than $2.5 million spent on fundraising, marketing and public policy, no one needs to worry that denial of the contract is “defunding.”

That’s not what I’m likely to hear from PP’s partisan’s tomorrow – but it’s the truth nonetheless.


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Walls & talk & film & a book…

Thank you to the reader who shared with me the latest email newsletter from the Lovering Center in Greenland. The newsletter includes this event announcement: “Free Movie Showing…’If These Walls Could Talk’…sponsored by the Lovering Health Center. May 2nd, 6:30 p.m., Levenson Room, the Portsmouth Public Library. Snacks and light refreshments will be provided. Following the film, you can participate in an art project to contribute to the 1 in 3 campaign.” It’s unclear whether the film is the twenty-year-old original or the sequel from 2000. Both are abortion advocacy pieces.

Tempting as “snacks and light refreshments” might be, I’ll skip this one. My time will be better spent with the definitive response to the film: The Walls are Talking, by Abby Johnson and Kristin Detrow. In their book, they let former abortion workers do the talking, bearing witness to their own experiences with the women who came to their facilities.

I hope that one day, The Walls are Talking or excerpts from it will be available in a low-cost paperback format that can be handed out at screenings of the old movie that inspired its title.

For now, I say find it, anywhere you can: on Amazon or the website of publisher Ignatius Press or the shelves of your local bricks-and-mortar bookstore. When you’re done, donate your copy to your town or church library. or lend it out yourself.

Snacks and light refreshments are optional.

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