Commissioners in New Hanover County, North Carolina voted this week to refuse state grant money for family planning. The money – around $9,000 – would have gone to the county’s health department, which had initially planned to use it to buy IUDs but, since the commission vote, has said it could be used for other family planning-related expenses.
Here’s video of the brief discussion surrounding Monday’s decision from NC Policy Watch (excerpted transcript below):
BARFIELD: I guess this is one of those kinda hot-button topics. This is what they’re talking about in the national news right now with a woman’s right to choose and this is, I would assume, part of that whole discussion.
CATLIN: No. No, sir. It has nothing to do with that. It’s about personal responsibility and accountability. It has nothing to do with that.
DAVIS: I just think, personally, it’s a sad day when the taxpayers are asked to pay money to buy – for contraceptives to keep young women who should not be having sex but are having sex from becoming pregnant. And if these young women were responsible people and didn’t have the sex to begin with, we wouldn’t be in this situation.
BARFIELD: I do agree with your comments there. I’m one of those abstinence guys so I do agree with your comments there.
At least one of the commissioners featured above – Democrat Jonathan Barfield – has said he regrets his vote, posting on his Facebook page:
“I’m getting a good lesson from my wife right this minute on the error of my vote.”
The county commission now plans to reconsider the vote in April but a rally against this week’s vote is still planned for tonight in downtown Wilmington, NC.