NC budget would cut teen pregnancy prevention programs

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — Tucked away in the new NC budget is a measure that has one agency baffled why it’s there.

Just seven lines out of a 429-page budget, some argue will have an impact on teens.

If you ask Planned Parenthood, it could mean the end of two teen pregnancy prevention programs…including one in the Triangle region.

“It is very urgent and so we have been actively reaching out to legislators,” said Melissa Reed of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic.

With likely just days remaining until the state budget passes, Planned Parenthood administrators are concerned about a measure that would cut funding to their teen pregnancy prevention programs.

“It surprised us that they would go attack a successful program that helps prevent teen pregnancy,” Reed said.

Part of the budget prevents state funds to go to family planning services, pregnancy prevention activities or adolescent parenting programs with any provider that performs abortions.

Planned Parenthood says, while they are not named, it would only affect them.

“This is not the first time the general assembly has defunded Planned Parenthood in its operations, but this is set up to be a prohibition for state funding going to facilities that perform abortions,” said Sen. Ralph Hise / (R) Mitchell County.

The cut would be $135,000 in grant funding for a teen pregnancy prevention program in Fayetteville and an adolescent parenting program in Wilmington.

“The teen pregnancy prevention is one of those where the funds are currently flowing, but we’re saying we will not be spending those in areas that perform abortions,” Hise said.

“Certainly the extremists in the legislature have been working to defund Planned Parenthood since 2010.  So those efforts aren’t unknown to us,” Reed said.

As to whether these programs can continue, Reed says it may come down to private funding.

The budget is now moving to the house where it will be voted on Thursday and Friday.

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