How hard is it not to fund abortion providers?

I don’t want to fund abortion providers by way of my tax dollars. Health care, yes; abortion, no; and there’s no such thing as avoiding the commingling of dollars when health care and abortion go on in the same building. Perhaps you agree.

Our state government doesn’t care, with all political parties in on the action. Abortion providers are so embedded in the state Department of Health and Human Services and in the Executive Council that the conscience rights of abortion resisters are in the toilet.

This is much on my mind this morning as I discover that the Executive Council and DHHS pulled a fast one recently. At the last Executive Council meeting, there was a contract item for renewal and supplemental funding of family planning contracts. That’s always a feed bag for abortion providers, so I clicked on the contract to check out the details. (You too can do a deep dive into any Council agenda; just click on the hyperlinked number next to any agenda item to get a look at the full contract in question.)

What I found was that numerous contractors had their contracts renewed – but the ones with abortion providers were not included. Hooray, right?

Wrong. I missed a “late item” added to the agenda after the public posting of the original.

How late was the late item? The day before the actual Council meeting. What was the late item? Adding the abortion providers back into the contract renewal. Contract extension amounts: $179,800 to the Equality Center in Concord, $222,896 to the Lovering Center in Greenland, and $548,000 to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.

Speculate as you please on why that item was posted “late.” The contract extension passed.

State money or federal? Makes no difference as far as which of my pockets is picked. As the contract says, “Source of Funds: 52% Federal Funds from the Office of Population Affairs; US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, and 48% General Funds.” General Funds refers to money from the New Hampshire state budget.

This week’s Executive Council meeting includes an agenda item giving even more money to abortion providers, this time for HIV intervention programs. It’s another contract renewal and extension, with the funding source listed as 17% federal and 83% “other funds.” (How’s that for transparency?) If the Council approves the contract extension, the Equality Center will get an additional $150,000 while PPNNE will get an additional $242,500.

Would anyone be denied authentic health care services if abortion providers were excluded from the contract process? Only if abortion providers refuse to change their business model, which relies on mislabeling abortion as health care.

The latest PPNNE audited financial statement I’ve seen online is dated May 24, 2018, covering the year ending December 31, 2017. Amount spent on public policy: $1,626,944. Marketing and communication: $209,744. Fundraising: $1,165,984.

That’s three million dollars for non-clinical promotional work. The state contracts are peanuts by comparison. But neither PPNNE nor any other abortion provider will let you off the hook. Neither will the commissioner of DHHS or the Executive Council. You’re funding abortion providers whether you want to or not.

As for elections having consequences, this is all happening regardless of which party has a majority or holds the corner office. I’m looking forward to seeing if the Republican governor re-appoints the DHHS commissioner when his term expires next January.

I’m also wondering whether that Republican governor will sign a state budget soon that repeals an existing prohibition on state funds being used for abortion. He vetoed the first attempt at a budget a couple of weeks ago, citing umpteen reasons but not mentioning abortion funding. Hmmm.

As for subsidizing abortion by way of giving money to abortion providers, taxpayers are going to have a hard time divesting. A key question in any public policy debate is who wants it more? Victories are going to come piecemeal. The big ones won’t come from Executive Council votes. They’ll come from making abortion providers ineligible for your money when contracts are put out to bid in the first place.

For Primary Day: Notes on Jane Cormier

Jane Cormier is on the GOP ballot for Executive Council district 4 (Manchester and 18 towns) on Tuesday, September 12. I recall interviewing her for another race four years ago. Here are some excerpts.

Jane Cormier’s neighbors elected her to the state legislature in 2012. She earned the Republican nomination for the seat the hard way, defeating an incumbent. She did it as a political newcomer, in a year when many GOP candidates were clobbered. Not a conventional candidate, by any measure. Proudly pro-life, too.

This was no “stealth” candidate. Jane Cormier was (and is) right up front about who she is and what she believes. “Being outspoken, telling the truth, has no ‘R’ or ‘D’ attached.”

…In her first year in office, she sponsored a bill to strengthen informed consent requirements for women seeking abortion [and] she was among the most committed legislative opponents of the buffer zone bill.

…Jane Cormier doesn’t mince words, and some of her fellow Republicans aren’t sure what to make of that. “If you are assertive, you are branded as a bomb-thrower. I’ve been called that more than a few times. I am someone who’s trying to get back to the Founding documents.”

“A fellow Republican told me I was [annoying people]. And I said to him, when do we push back? If we have a situation where it’s plain and simple, what is being said is wrong, is untruthful, we are not supposed to address it? And if it’s not me, who? And on the life issue, when do we push back? You shouldn’t be afraid to address it. It’s part of the platform.”

…I asked her what she’s proudest of from her term in the House. “That I would stand in my principles, no matter how much somebody pushed back. My principles do not move. Reaching across the aisle does not mean giving up the farm.

“My job is to fight for the race and let God do the rest.”

Executive Council district 4 is currently represented by Chris Pappas (D-Manchester), who is leaving the Council to run for Congress. District 4 includes Manchester and the towns of Allenstown, Auburn, Barrington, Bedford, Bow, Candia, Chichester, Deerfield, Epsom, Goffstown, Hooksett, Lee, Londonderry, Loudon, Northwood, Nottingham, Pembroke, and Pittsfield.

On 3-2 votes, Council Okays Contracts with Abortion Providers

I’m going to tell you about a vote, and then I’m going to turn to Abby Johnson for comment. Stay with me here: no, she isn’t in New Hampshire and she has no idea what an Executive Council is, but something she published the same day as the Council’s vote is relevant.

The Vote

Overflow crowd outside Executive Council. Cornerstone Action photo/Facebook.

Family planning contracts were awarded to ten agencies by the New Hampshire Executive Council on November 8. Three of those contracts were with abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.

All the contracts were approved. For the three that gave tax money to known abortion providers, the votes were 3-2. Councilors Joe Kenney and Dave Wheeler got it right. Councilors Andru Volinsky, Russell Prescott, and Chris Pappas didn’t. (Contact info here.)

The contracts were for non-abortion services. Of course, money from such contracts help keep the lights on and the facilities staffed for when abortions are done.

Abby Johnson’s Comment

If you read nothing else today, read Abby Johnson’s piece in the The Federalist entitled “7 Things I Learned At The Women’s Convention About Feminists And Abortion.” You could even forward it to your Councilor or to Governor Sununu, if you think he’d be interested.

Abby attended the recent national “Women’s Convention” in Detroit, saying “I chose to attend because wherever there are pro-choice voices, there ought to also be a pro-life voice.”

An excerpt:

We attended the “Planned Parenthood track” over the weekend, and learned a few things. First, Planned Parenthood is totally done using the word “choice.” They explained that by saying “choice,” we are assuming that one of the choices could be wrong. Huh? Anyway, now they are using the word “decision.” They feel that sounds much more positive and somehow helps to eliminate abortion stigma. They talked nonstop about eliminating abortion stigma. They want abortion to be normal….

The abortion industry is no longer hiding behind their “family planning” services. They are super proud of the abortions they commit. One woman in a panel, who worked for Planned Parenthood, even said Planned Parenthood should stop saying abortion is “only 3 percent of their services.” She said Planned Parenthood shouldn’t try to hide that the “majority of what they do in the clinics is to provide abortions.” Another thing I learned: these women are super honest about what the abortion industry is all about when they think no pro-lifers are around.

 

Another Round of Abortion Provider Contracts Coming to Exec Council

The New Hampshire Executive Council will take up ten family planning contracts on Wednesday, November 8, three of them with known abortion providers.

The Council meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. in the Council chambers on the second floor of the State House in Concord.

The contracts themselves are for non-abortion services.  The Equality Center in Concord is on track to receive $179,800; the Lovering Center in Greenland is on the list for $222,896. Those amounts are divided between state and federal funds. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England is set to receive a cool half-million dollars, all of it from New Hampshire general funds.

This is the same Planned Parenthood affiliate that spent $2 million dollars on “public policy” in 2016, and yet is urging the Council to send more money, hashtagging their appeal “#fundPP.”

That $2 million figure is no longer available to the public on PPNNE’s annual report, where that number has been rolled into the “patient services” category, the better to obscure it. Drill down into the contract, though, and there it is: first you go to the Council page, then you find the meeting agenda, then you find the contract listing, then you click on the contract number, then you scroll down to page 646. Thus do we carry out transparency in government.

Note the million dollars for fundraising, too, as PPNNE urges the Councilors to #fundPP lest health care be denied to patients. No reports that fundraising and public policy might take a hit.

Page 644 of the same contract confirms that PPNNE enjoyed more than $22 million in revenue in 2016.

The last time the abortion providers were at the Council table, the contracts were for HIV/AIDS-related programs. Every Councilor but David Wheeler (District 5, R-Milford) voted to award the contracts.

Contact information for each Councilor is available at the Executive Council web page: Joe Kenney in District 1 (R-Union), Andru Volinsky in District 2 (D-Concord), Russell Prescott in District 3 (R-Kingston), Christopher Pappas in District 4 (D-Manchester), and David Wheeler.

Governor Sununu has a contact page as well. He has no vote on the contracts, but the Department of Health and Human Services staff that negotiated the contracts answers to him.

Lest We Forget
  • Any public funds – family planning funds, for instance – received by an abortion provider who also provides health care, help to subsidize abortion. Those funds keep the lights on, pay salaries of support staff, and let the organization pay lobbyists to try to keep abortion unregulated.
  • Why do PP and its smaller counterparts stake the health care of so many women on abortion, which is supposedly a minuscule part of their business? Because the current business model is working, thanks to timid state officials. For abortion providers to remain government contractors without involving taxpayers in abortion, they would have to stop embedding abortion with health care in such a way that a strike against abortion or abortion funding meant casualties for authentic health care.
  • Recall that then-Councilor Chris Sununu, along with Joe Kenney and Dave Wheeler, voted to reject a PP contract in August 2015. At that meeting, Kenney and Sununu both cited the Center for Medical Progress videos as a factor in their vote. Those videos feature PP employees from affiliates elsewhere in the country discussing trafficking in body parts, with a PP medical professional describing her willingness to alter abortion procedures not to provide the best care to women but to extract the most lucrative intact fetal organs.

 

Council Okays Contracts

Update to earlier post: the New Hampshire Executive Council has voted 4-1 to grant contracts to two abortion providers. Concord’s Equality Center and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England were awarded the contracts for anti-HIV work.

The vote was 4-1, with District 5 Councilor David Wheeler casting the lone vote in defense of taxpayers who want to keep healthcare funds away from abortion providers. The contracts were supported by Councilors Joe Kenney, Andru Volinsky, Russell Prescott, and Chris Pappas.

Planned Parenthood’s half-billion dollars in annual taxpayer funding, calculated from all grants to PP affiliates including PPNNE, has just been augmented by $275,000.