DURHAM – Planned Parenthood is taking its fight against state budget cuts to federal court.
One of North Carolina's two Planned Parenthood affiliates filed a lawsuit in Greensboro's federal court Thursday to challenge budget cuts that would keep the program from receiving federal and state funds.
This past year, at least 7,000 women received family planning and reproductive exams. The program relies on state and federal funding to provide these services, which is why they are taking their issue to the courts.
“If we lose, we may be forced to close this Durham health center,” said Janet Colm, the president of the Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina.
Part of the lawsuit stated: This measure singles out and categorically disqualifies any Planned Parenthood affiliate, including Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, from continuing to receive state and federal funds that it is otherwise eligible and qualified to receive.
“We're determined to win it and we have good grounds to win it,” said Colm.
Some Republican legislators disagree.
“I don't think the taxpayers in North Carolina are interested in their money being used to fund abortions and that's kind of the nut of it. We had a significant shortfall about $2.5-billion, so we're looking for money to save and it's one of the areas we looked and it was a good place to save some money,” said Sen. Neal Hunt of Wake County.
According to Planned Parenthood executives, the program receives $212,000 in federal and state grants and programs. The funds are used to provide preventive health care including cancer screening, STD testing, teen pregnancy prevention and affordable contraception.
Officials with the organization said none of these funds are used to provide abortions.