News Contraception

Planned Parenthood North Carolina Argues Defunding Violates Their First Amendment Rights

Robin Marty

Is the reproductive health provider having their freedom of speech rights denied?

Has Planned Parenthood in North Carolina come up with the right argument to fight the state’s plans to withhold funding from the group?  They think they might have, with the organization stating that they are being punished for advocating for the legal right to choice.

Via The News Observer:

The organization is suing on several constitutional grounds, including that the General Assembly violated its free-speech right.

Planned Parenthood isn’t arguing that it has a constitutional right to the money. Rather, it contends it has a right not to be punished for advocating on behalf of women’s legal access to abortion.

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“There’s a constitutional right not to have a government follow discriminatory or unconstitutional criteria in deciding who receives funds,” Wolfson told the judge.

To help prove their case, the lawsuit relies on comments legislators made about the organization while they were in session. Rep. Paul Stam, a Republican from Apex, said that Planned Parenthood “has particularly unsavory origins in the eugenics movement” and that the state should not be “rewarding the perpetrators of that program.”

On the Senate floor, Sen. Warren Daniel, a Republican representing Burke and Caldwell counties, said Planned Parenthood nationally performed more than 300,000 abortions and nearly 1,000 adoption referrals in recent years.

“I think that’s an appalling statistic,” Daniel said, “and I’m not interested, and the constituents in my district are not interested, in funding an organization with these kinds of numbers.”

The line of reasoning parallels that of Indiana, where the state’s Planned Parenthood is arguing that defunding is a straight issue of discrimination of the organization simply because of their ability to provide abortions.

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