The New Hampshire Executive Council has voted to cancel the state's contract with Planned Parenthood, rejecting up to $1.8 million in state funding — "about 20 percent of its total annual funding" — and has also "stripped its authority to dispense low-cost birth control and antibiotics to uninsured patients."
"We can't even provide patients with antibiotics for urinary tract infections or STDs anymore," said Jennifer Frizzell, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. She said Planned Parenthood has had to turn away 20 to 30 patients a day who are showing up to refill their prescriptions.
"We have to send them away with a prescription knowing that without insurance, they have to pay the full cost of that at a local pharmacy, and many patients have told us they're not gonna have the money in their budget to afford to fill those prescriptions."
Local lawmakers had previously rejected attempts to defund Planned Parenthood but the Executive Council has now overturned the decisions of both state legislature and the Department of Health and Human Services with a 3-2 vote against the organization.
"Not only was this vote unanticipated, but it's a little bit of a reach when the Council is using its role to act as a super-legislature," Frizzell told HuffPost. "We don't get a hearing to make our case or rebut their concerns—it's a closed process that has historically been much more limited in its scope than a legislative process."
As we've all heard over a million times now, the Councilors who voted to defund Planned Parenthood said they did so because some clinics provide women with abortions, despite those abortions being privately funded.
And some other Councilors went the extra mile when it came to telling us how they really feel:
Councilor Raymond Wieczorek of Manchester added that he opposed funding for birth control and condoms altogether.
"If they want to have a good time, why not let them pay for it?" he told the Concord Monitor last week.
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England is currently considering taking legal action to overturn the Executive Council's decision. In the meantime, stay classy, New Hampshire Councilors. Especially you, Wieczorek.