By EMERY P. DALESIO
WINSTON-SALEM, NC (AP) -- A federal judge is weighing whether to invalidate part of the state budget that cuts off North Carolina's two Planned Parenthood affiliates from federal or state family planning money.
Judge James Beaty said Wednesday he would rule soon on the injunction sought by Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina to block the Legislature's plan to halt funding.
The organization told the judge in Winston-Salem the Legislature singled it out because Planned Parenthood advocates abortion rights. A state attorney said the Legislature can favor childbirth over abortion with funding decisions.
State and federal laws ban using taxpayer money for abortions and Planned Parenthood says the state can't cut off separate family planning funds.
Federal courts in Kansas and Indiana have blocked laws in those states stripping Planned Parenthood chapters of money.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)