Lawmakers try to defund Planned Parenthood

June 8, 2011 at 1:55 PM
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NASHVILLE, June 8 (UPI) -- Planned Parenthood chapters in two Tennessee cities say they will have to start charging for non-abortion services if government funding is delayed.

Abortion opponents in the Tennessee Legislature want Gov. Bill Haslam to transfer more than $1 million in federal funding from the Memphis and Nashville chapters of Planned Parenthood to the city health directors, The Tennessean reported Wednesday. They argue the money is effectively helping pay for abortions even if none of it is going directly to ending pregnancies, the Nashville newspaper said.

A move to strip Planned Parenthood of funding in Tennessee was inserted into the state budget. But an unknown legislator quietly added language that nullified the amendment.

The fight has already delayed funding for Planned Parenthood. The group provides a wide range of services, including cancer screening and pregnancy testing.

"We're going to figure out a way to continue providing care, but we're going to have to ask women to pay more," Jeff Teague, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, told The Tennessean. "A lot of low-income women will have to choose between accessing our services and putting food on their family's tables."

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