(Update, 5/27/17: The latest Center for Medical Progress video has been taken down by YouTube, and so it is unavailable where I had originally linked to it below. Instead, you can view CMP’s previous videos at this link. Watch them before the next budget vote.)
The New Hampshire Senate will vote next week on the budget proposal prepared by the Senate Finance Committee. Whatever the Senate passes will go to the House the next day.
Under the Senate proposal, would any of the money allocated to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) go to abortion providers? Would abortion providers still be in line for family planning contracts?
Maybe. The proposed Senate budget language says no state funds can go to abortion providers for abortion services. I have seen the draft of an amendment that would prevent state funds from going to abortion providers, period.
Stay tuned. In the meantime, the Center for Medical Progress has released another video of Planned Parenthood’s abortion providers discussing their work. No bloody-baby pictures here; just words. It’s a safe bet that the affiliates mentioned in the video operate with the help of taxpayers.
I can’t link directly to YouTube for the video, since YouTube took it down – but not before some viewers found a way to share it. A Leaven reader was kind enough to point me to the Facebook account Another Boy (@babiesbetrayed), where the video is available. I hope the link is still live as you read this.
A reader has kindly alerted me to the “family planning” line item in the proposed New Hampshire budget, due for a vote in the House tomorrow, April 5.
A bit of background: some of the family planning contractors in our state are abortion providers, who come to the Executive Council threatening denial of services to patients if the Council doesn’t hand over the money. Those providers keep saying that family planning money – specifically Title X money, awarded to states by the federal government – can’t be used for abortions. The same providers then press members of Congress to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which is all that stands between Title X and abortion.
But anyway, back to family planning, now that we know where abortion providers fit in.
Into the Weeds: Page 1191
Here’s a picture of page 1191 from the report prepared by the Office of Legislative Budget Assistant, comparing New Hampshire budget family planning allocations from fiscal years 2016 through 2019. This looks at past spending, plus projections for the next biennium. The “Governor” column reflects the budget request made by Governor Sununu. “H Finance” means House Finance Committee, and it’s the Finance Committee’s proposal that’s getting a House vote this week.
Numbers Get Larger
Look at the “contracts for program services” line. The numbers grow from about a million bucks in FY 2016 to a projected $1.5 million in FY 2019, or to $1.8 million if the House Finance Committee’s request goes through. That’s quite an increase.
The general fund line near the bottom indicates how much money comes directly from state coffers. Again, there’s a projected increase.
Right above that is the gold mine: federal funds. These are grants, including but not limited to Title X, that flow from Washington to Concord for use in specific programs. (And they are tax dollars, just like the money from the state general fund.) In FY 2016, federal family planning money for New Hampshire came to around $700,000. For FY 2019, the governor expects $1.1 million while House Finance expects $1.4 million.
How many other New Hampshire health and human services needs are getting that kind of boost in this budget?
I’ve emailed the federal HHS department in the hope that someone there can show me data to support those projected federal numbers for FYs 2018 and 2019. The reader who suggested I take a look at the family planning budget tried that already and got an unsatisfactory answer. I’m not going to bet on getting an answer before the state budget is passed and signed.
At any rate, we’re getting a preview of Executive Council meetings yet to come. Whatever amount is approved for family planning in the next biennium, the “contracts for program services” will go through the Council. The usual contractors, including abortion providers, will be there for a piece of the ever-growing pie.