Welcome to week 9 of Inside Your Legislative Body. The NC Senate passed their budget last week and the House begins work on their budget this week. Meanwhile, we got some good news already this week from SCOTUS. Here’s the latest-

State Budget Update

Unfortunately the Senate budget is more of what we’ve come to expect from those in the legislative majority- tax cuts for the wealthiest North Carolinians and slashing funding for public education.

Yet another shameful provision in the Senate budget increases state funding to Crisis Pregnancy Centers. CPCs pose as legitimate “health centers” in order to intentionally mislead women with false, medically inaccurate information intended to dissuade a woman from considering safe, legal abortion. CPCs claim to be medical centers, yet have no state regulation or oversight. State funding for these dangerous organizations has steadily increased in recent years and this budget increases their funding yet again by $100,000. While Planned Parenthood’s funding has been cut for preventive medicine and education, CPCs would receive $400,000 taxpayer money each year to spread lies and manipulate women.

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear State Voter Suppression Appeal

We got some good news from SCOTUS yesterday when it was announced that the U.S. Supreme Court will not take up the appeal by NC leaders to reverse the Fourth Circuit’s decision on HB 589, the broad voter suppression bill passed by the legislature in 2013. That means that the lower court’s ruling stands which found the law to be unconstitutional.

Legislators who most want to suppress the vote are the ones who know they are most likely to lose if everyone is given an equal voice. Now we must keep a close eye on the legislature and fight any voter suppression laws they may introduce this session and beyond in response to this decision.

Repeal of ACA

As you’ve probably heard by now, Republicans in the House of Representatives passed the “American Health Care Act” last week. Read the statement from Jenny Black, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic’s President & CEO about this legislation below:

“This is the worst bill for women’s health in a generation. By supporting this bill, anti-women’s health Representatives just voted to block thousands of their constituents in North Carolina, and millions of people around the country, from essential health care.

This legislation “defunds” Planned Parenthood by blocking people with Medicaid from accessing preventive care such as STI testing and treatment, well-woman exams, life-saving cancer screenings and birth control. What’s more, it takes away national protections that required health plans give people quality coverage, including maternity coverage and prescription drugs.

We’re at a historic low in teen pregnancy, and a 30-year low in unintended pregnancy — thanks to better access to family planning and information. Planned Parenthood specializes in family planning, and each year, almost 25,000 patients in North Carolina choose to come to our health centers for exactly that.

The reality is that restricting access to care at Planned Parenthood will make it harder for thousands of women in North Carolina to prevent unintended pregnancy, harder to have a healthy pregnancy, and harder to raise a family.

Our supporters and patients will not go quietly as anti-women’s health politicians vote to take away their care. Women and men across the country will continue to speak out to defeat this bill and efforts to block access to Planned Parenthood.

The Senate should listen to the American people and reject the worst bill for women’s health in a generation.”

Upcoming Events

This weekend, we’re hosting healthy neighborhood canvasses in Asheville and Raleigh communities, where we’ll go door-to-door informing people about the importance of Planned Parenthood services and ways to get involved. If you’re interested in canvassing with us, please contact Caitlan Wyatt at caitlan.wyatt@ppsat.org in Asheville, and Dani Hoffpauir at dani.hoffpauir@ppsat.org in Raleigh.

In solidarity,

Paige Johnson
VP of External Affairs

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