Tennessee GOP Candidate Opposes Family Planning for Lower Income Residents

Amie Newman

Republican candidate for Tennessee governor, Bill Haslam, says he'd oppose state funding of family planning services for his state's lower-income residents because Planned Parenthood is a contractor, but in truth because he opposes the whole idea of providing state-funded family planning at all.

Tennessee GOP candidate for governor, Bill Haslam, would not support state funding of family planning services for lower income residents.

When asked by the Tennessee Economic Council on Women if the candidates for governor would support the state’s participation in a federal Medicaid program which pays 90 percent of the costs associated with family planning services, Haslam says he would not. Democrat Mike McWherter says it’s a good idea.

When asked why, Haslam said it was because Planned Parenthood is a contractor with the state. He opposes legal abortion, apparently, and since Planned Parenthood provides abortion care as well, Haslam said he would not support the provision of subsidized family planning at all.

“As somebody who is pro-life, Planned Parenthood has a definitely different mission,” Haslam said. “They’re not somewhere that I’m going to support giving money to, pretty simple.”

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Republicans in Tennessee’s state legislature attempted to defund Planned Parenthood last year.

However, is that really the reason Haslam said he would oppose a mostly federally-funded family planning services for his state’s lower income residents? Not according to his own statement:

After the meeting, Haslam clarified his stance on subsidized birth control, saying, “No, I wouldn’t be in favor of the state supporting contraceptives. I would not favor them.”

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