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ACLU-NC criticizes New Hanover Commissioners for rejecting reproductive health grant for women


RALEIGH, NC (NEWS RELEASE FROM THE ACLU) -– The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina today criticized the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners for voting Monday to reject a state grant that would have funded reproductive health care and family planning services for women.

“It is truly shameful that the New Hanover County commissioners refused nearly $9,000 in state funds that could have provided essential reproductive health care services to women through doctors’ visits, medication, and comprehensive family planning,” said Jennifer Rudinger, executive director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “Most American women use contraception at some point in our lives in order to plan responsibly, and for many of us, contraception can also aid with other medical conditions,” Rudinger continued. “Unfortunately, many low-income women and young women do not have reliable access to contraception. The state funds the County rejected could have provided these women with medical care they cannot otherwise afford or access. The state offered this money to the County without any strings attached and without any increased burden on taxpayers. The commissioners’ decision to reject this funding is appalling.

Had the five men on the Board bothered to consult any women or reproductive health experts beforehand, perhaps they would have seen the error of their ways. Indeed, Commissioner Jonathan Barfield told WWAY-TV that after talking to his wife about the issue, he realized he was wrong to vote against accepting the funds. It is not the duty of elected officials to judge anyone’s lifestyle or medical needs. Rather, they should seek to better the welfare of the people they were elected to serve. In this case, they failed miserably,” Rudinger concluded.

In an email sent today, Chairman Ted Davis requested to have the Health Department's funding request be on the next meeting's agenda. Here's what Davis wrote to County Manager Bruce Shell:

"After very serious consideration and conferring with my fellow County Commissioners, I am instructing County Manager Bruce Shell to put the Health Department's request to spend $8,899.00 in State funding for IUD purchases on the regular Agenda for the April 2, 2012 County Commissioner meeting which will begin at 6:00p.m.

The Health Department will be expected to give a thorough presentation and provide all of the pertinent information for the Board to consider this proposal, as well as any alternative method of spending these funds for family planning.

There will be a public comment period that will allow comments on behalf of proponents and opponents with a maximum of 15 minutes for each side, regardless of how many speakers may actually talk for either side.

This procedure will allow each Commissioner to receive adequate information from the Health Department; hear comments from the public; ask questions; discuss among themselves; and make their respective decision after considering all of this input."

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.



I have no problem with the Health Dept issuing condoms and birth control pills, but my money should not be wasted on IUDs because a female isn't smart enough or too lazy to remember to take her pill everyday


Sex is now a civil liberty? Was it like that in the eighty's?

If the ACLU...

If they ACLU says you are in the wrong, you can bet your ass you did the right thing.

Better Parenting Needed

Why don't the parents do a better job of parenting instead of relying on someone else to raise and protect their kids?

Yeah, I calling out everyone. There is an option called abstinence, which does require any form of contraception tools.

What a novel concept, people actually being responsible for their own actions.


Your plan would require

Your plan would require funding for education and brainwashing! I am the proud parent of a 16 year old boy and an 13 year old girl and there is a reason that I am A father, Love is one reason, Desire is the other!

To insinuate that teaching abstinence is effective, or even enforceable is completely ridiculous! Ever hear of a shotgun wedding? The bottom line is that when it comes to love, people tend to follow they're heart, and not what your idea of "what A perfect parent would do in they're shoe's"
Which is kind of funny considering that you had kid's!

Dear Ms. Rudinger

How in any way, shape, or form is this a "civil liberties issue."

She was hired by the ACLU to

She was hired by the ACLU to advance they're ideas! Why do you care? do you fund them?

$9000. grant

What has happened to personal responsibility ref birth control methods? You mention low income families not be able to afford contraceptions, most are probably on medicade, government assistance anyway. Where do we get off on the idea that the government should be responsible to pay our way. If our nation was not taking care of so many illegals,maybe there might be some money in the health depts budget to help the "LEGALS".ON

as an aside, why isn't the

as an aside, why isn't the ACLU telling men to man up and take care of contraception too? Why are THEY assuming it is a woman's issue?

I don't see how anybody

I don't see how anybody "judged" anyone else's needs here? In fact, if something was "judged", it was that as women we're more responsible and smarter than some people give us credit for and know how to either abstain when it is prudent, obtain birth control when necessary the same way we obtain anything else we want or need or finally to deal with the consequences when we don't. Thank you for your confidence commissioners!

Thank you for not encouraging us to drop our guards against real health threats and rely on some random method of birth control (the IUD) which only prevents pregnancy but does not protect against serious health concerns such as AIDs, Hepatitis, Human Papilloma Virus, and other STDS which are serious health threats. Let's not let undereducated and low-income women think they are getting health care when they are being led down a garden path of disastrous risks by people with a political agenda.

Thanks you for understanding that in addition to risk of transmission of disease, that IUDs also put women at greater risk of menstrual difficulties,uterine perforation which requires surgery to correct,increased risk of ectopic pregnancy which can cause death, increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease which leads to CANCER, etc. They are not a guarantee (about 20% of IUDs are expelled and most without the knowledge of the user leading to unintended pregnancy) of prevention of pregnancy and have their own health concerns.

Leave Health Care to the medical community and let commissionsers stay out of it.

So meet them halfway

rather than provide contraceptive devices, perhaps the Board of Health can develop an educational program on how to avoid unwanted pregnancies. An educational program that could be viewed on public access television.

Would not family planning services include education in how to avoid the pregnancy?

There must be some local producer who could put together some sort of video based program?

Answer to SurfCity Tom

Tom, without contraceptive medications and devices, the only other way to avoid pregnancy and its potential health complications is to avoid having sex. I suspect that most men would like to have sex, and many of them would like to have sex with women. Would your proposed educational program be aimed at men, to show them how to avoid having sex with women? Or, would you envision limiting the time-span that a woman has sex to the five or so years in which she wishes to bare children? I am just not entirely sure how limiting sexual activity between men and women is going to be curtailed by an "educational program".
A Mother&Grandmother

Tom, once again, you have

Tom, once again, you have surpassed yourself with your totally ridiculous post. I think everybody, young and old understands that if you don't have sex, you won't get pregnant or impregnate. Nobody is going to pay any attention to this when they are in the "mood". You sound as if you are still in the seventeenth century. I suppose you think the earth is flat, as well. Pull your head out of the sand and wash your eyes and view the real world.


sounds like you might have self control issues...When I was in the MOOD...and didn't have the correct protection in place....I was able to switch it off...maybe something is wrong with you...

Sounds like you have a low

Sounds like you have a low testosterone level. You are definitely in the minority.

Only flippin' animals and the ignorant...

...have lack of self-control. Which category do YOU fit in?

Here's what has to be done:

Here's what has to be done: Stop giving taxpayer funded Viagra to geezers.



If you think geezers are the

If you think geezers are the problem, you're about as out of touch as 'ol Tom from Surf City.

How is it

out of touch to be opposed to the use of tax payer dollars for something like this.

As others have noted, it's free of charge if they are in public housing or get any other form of entitlement.

If they are working, let them pay for the methods themselves.

For the record, I would be opposed to the use of taxpayer dollars to fund viagra or any of those other drugs for those not on public assistance.

If it's free for a certain segment of the female populace, the same rules should apply to that same segment of the male populace.