Commissioners react to mounting criticism of voting down contraceptive funding; Barfield: a colossal mistake

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Submitted: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 3:11am
Updated: Thu, 08/02/2012 - 5:02pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Criticism of the New Hanover County Commission’s vote against accepting a family planning grant has reached the state level, and now the board wants to reconsider.

The request is being put on the next meeting’s agenda. Commissioners say they hope to then be able to make a more informed decision.

Today the ACLU of North Carolina sent a news release criticizing the commissioners’ decision, saying they failed miserably. Commissioners now say they are open to compromise.

“In my opinion we made a colossal mistake,” said Commissioner Jonathan Barfield.

Since commissioners voted Monday against accepting a nearly $9,000 state grant to fund contraceptives for women, the opposition has been loud and clear.

“It was a big mistake the vote that took place,” said Jennifer Rudinger, executive director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “It was very unfortunate. Frankly we called it shameful.”

It seems the message has gotten through to commissioners.

“I’ve heard it clearly. I’m still hearing it in my own house,” Barfield said. “I keep telling my wife, ‘I got it.’ My pastor’s talked with me, my dad’s talked with me and I’ve got it.”

In an email sent Wednesday, chairman Ted Davis requested to have the funding request put on their April 2nd meeting’s agenda along with time for public discussion. Commissioner Rick Catlin, who was very vocal about turning down the money, says he welcomes another chance to talk about it.

“I think it’s incumbent upon us as public officials to hear all the facts and make an informed decision,” Catlin said.

“We hope that they will do the right thing,” Rudinger said. “We hope that they will accept the funding that women need and go forward with this.”


  • Guest611 says:

    You’re so perceptive. Yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying. Especially since I myself use one. Dummy proof means you don’t have to think about it. You don’t have to do anything special. It just works.

  • Guest611 says:

    I’m not enthusiastic about paying for someone else’s birth control. However, this solution while not perfect is the lesser of 2 evils. I would much rather pay for the IUD’s which are pretty much dummy proof on the users end, than pay for a child born into the welfare system for at least 18 years. You can say “well they should be responsible for their own birth control or just not have sex”. I agree, but it’s just not realistic.

  • WhatHaveWeCometo says:

    A Colossal Mistake is not demanding that people who want to have intimate relations become responsible. You do not need intimate relations to live. A person’s inability to pay does not give them a right to have other’s pay for their intimate relations. If we really want protect women and men, we would advocate only abstinence or condoms – the ONLY easy to prevent pregnancy, AIDs and STDs!

  • Guest6858 says:

    Why would you change when you DID THE RIGHT THING!!!! Please show some backbone and integrity. That’s what leadership is all about, right?

  • Mr. Dependable says:

    Frankly, I can’t think of a better use of my tax dollars. But if you folks in New Hanover don’t want my money, I’m sure my home county will be happy to take it back.

  • WilmMan says:

    That idiot as you called him is completely right. These women are extremely irresponsible. They get free birth control but they are too irresponsible to take them like they should. I shouldn’t have to waste my money b/c they are not responsible enough to take what is already given to them

  • stm says:

    So the “All-Male Revue” commission board votes against using the money for birth control measures. Wake up dudes. We’re already providing birth control. I wonder how many other issues these guys have voted on with minimal knowledge that didn’t get a re-vote? And to the idiot who said he doesn’t want to provide birth control to irresponsible women, that is the best oxymoronic statement I’ve heard lately.

  • Grand Ole Party says:

    YOU’RE saying that you need someone to explain this to you?

  • stm says:

    Oh, so to make it okay for tax dollars to be used, you feel women should have to remember to take birth control. You are an idiot too. For various reasons that you probably wouldn’t be able to understand, all women can’t take the pill. I bet if we only had male birth control, you’d change your stupid tune.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    of forms of male birth control.

  • Beach Bum says:

    Reversing your decision is a sign of cowardice, weakness and indecisiveness. Clearly, not the attributes or abilities I want in a civic leader.

    Fact of the matter, birth control is the responsibility of both men and women. Abstinence, regardless of religious preference, is the only true form of birth control. It does not require money from anyone but does require people to be responsible for their actions.

    Anyone can have kids, but that does not make you a parent. And you do not have to be a parent to know the difference between right and wrong. It is not a ridiculous notion or unrealistic for people to be responsible for their own actions.

    The only failure here was the conclusion of some people to honestly believe that someone else should have to foot the bill for someone else careless and irresponible actions, including the ACLU.

    I no longer have faith in the leadership of the ACLU or the County Commissioners if the commissioners honestly entertain a “re-vote” just because it is an election year.


  • Mike T says:

    Looks like the geezers are staying on the sidelines now that the commissioners are reconsidering? Where is cupcake common when you need some words of wisdom? These guys remind me of Wake Forest fans, Brilliant, Intellectual, Articulate, and you always know where to find them,In the losers bracket!!

  • WilmMan says:

    The problem is not for the females that can’t take the pill ….the problem is with those that don’t remember to take it. And even if she xant take the pill, she can gwt free condoms. If whoever the female is having sex with, if thay person doesn’t want to wear the condom, then she should be responsible enough to tell him he isn’t getting ant. And no matter what the problem is, my money should not be used for someones pleasure. This whole issue comes down to responsibility. I’m not taking any of the responsibility away from they guy but this is the woman’s body. She needs to take charge of it. Is it jot her decision alone whether she goes thru with a pregnancy? So yes more responsibility should be placed on the female

  • Guest69985 says:

    can they use a condom and/or a spermicide? These are actually effective at preventing disease instead of pregnancy which most people don’t consider a disease per se.

  • Guestgustd says:

    UNEMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION, CRUMBLING ROADS, etc. are being neglected while all you stupid old men are concerned with women’s vaginas and what is or isn’t in their uteruses! Do your jobs, please! Or we’ll elect someone who will.

    You are no better than the Taliban. I am so ashamed of what this country has become.

  • Also... says:

    Plus, an IUD can last up to five years. Also, like you said, IUD’s are pretty dummy proof.

  • WilmMan says:

    I’m not concerned about any part of the female anatomy …I’m concerned about my money and where it is being spent (wasted). And if this Wireless to pass that is exactly what is being done with my money…getting wasted

  • Grand Ole Party says:

    I see that respect that Mammy and Pappy supposedly raised you with shining through buttercup. We are not sheeple unlike yourself. Just because they changed there minds does not mean we will. I have more important things to spend my money on then birth control. Now go find some more grass to graze on boy.

  • Guest7969 says:

    Can you point out to me where its your right to have FREE contraception?…YUP..didn’t think so! YOU proved the “stupid old men” point….that money would be better spent on the IMPORTANT things like unemployment, education and our crumbling roads…

  • Guest7966 says:

    your saying that all women that want IUD’s are dummies?

  • Deborah Butler says:

    If you listen to the comments made before the vote was held, you can get an understanding of the true opinions of these gentlemen as it concerns contraception and reproductive health. There is an element of contempt there not only for women, but for those in poverty. And while I applaud the decision to reconsider, that has only happened in the face of EXTREME push back from the community during an election year. So, I’m sorry to say that I believe their true colors have been shown…

  • Guest7969 says:

    Do you happen t know the cost of IUD’s??? This grand pays for AT MOST 6 women…is that fair? Is it fair that I have to PAY for my wife to have one of these…WHERES MY BREAK!? If you want an IUD…PAY FOR IT YOURSELF…otherwise go down and buy a 1 dollar condom! It will protect you from more!

  • GuestK says:

    Read comments that include “keep HER legs shut” on the other blog about the initial vote. What kind of degrading sexist remark is that? Disgusting remarks by a bunch of old men that can’t stand the thought that perhaps, and I do mean PERHAPS, a tenth of a penny of their tax dollar went to helping women who truly want NEED help in preventing pregnancy. It’s $9,000 freakin’ dollars, people. That isn’t anything! They are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to study a ball park in Wilmington, but don’t let one tenth of a penny go to WOMEN (God forbid) that must be sluts and can’t “keep their legs shut”.

    You “Tim the Tool Men” out there, flexing your almighty mouth muscles. Sheesh. Gotta have something to target, might as well be us! I bet NOT many of you, if truth be told, were abstinent when dating your spouse, if you still have one, or in your youth. Fun for you to sit around and post all day about how trashy us women are that may need birth control that you may have to pay for it. Oh, but promote the Big D and take your V and the world is a happier place for you isn’t it! See the conflict here in thinking?

    About the “out of pocket”…not everyone out there has health insurance (which by the way helps pay for Viagra)…and not everyone out there can afford the choice to eat or buy BC…which by the way also does have health benefits for women, like regulating cycles etc. If we can help put IUDs in 10 women in this community that seek help in “Planned Parenthood”, I think it speaks volumes about the fact that we care about more than baseball diamonds and convention buildings…we care about people.

    Oh well, since it seems to always be a “man’s world”, Batter Up!

  • X says:

    State grant for tatoo’s will be next.

  • Guest 789 says:

    I assume because this is a State grant that my hard-earned dollars are going to fund this grant. Would someone please tell me why I have to provide IUD’s to women? What is next, a State grant for condoms for men? Stop spending my money on crap like this! The Commissioners need to stop caving under pressure.

  • Guest Apu says:

    This is a state grant. There are approx 10,000,000 people in NC. Your share of the $9,000 comes to less than 1/10th of one penny. Get over it.

    How much do you think you’ll pay in welfare for any babies born to indigent mothers who might have received one of the IUD’s and avoided pregnancy?

  • Guest Bill Brasky says:

    Actulyy, you do pay for condoms for men. You can pick them up for free at the health department. They prevent pregnancy and transmitting STDs. Would you rather the stet pay for a few condoms, or pay welfare for more babies and medical treatment for the poor who may pick up a STD? Or, as a third option, are you one of those compassionate Christian conservatives who would really rather just let them die? Your true colors are shining through!

  • Guest 345 says:

    Actually you are already paying for free condoms for men as well as Viagra and other so-called male enhancement drugs! I gather you too, are male. Are you willing to pay child support for your good times?

  • Cobbler says:

    Which brand of flip-flops, is old Ricky wearing for this colossal about face. He flip-flops more than a pack of UNCW students tanning at the beach!

  • Wilmington Observer says:

    I was thankful and proud of you guys (Commissioners) for refusing to spend my (tax) money on something that my family already pays (out of pocket) for!!

    Please stand behind your vote and don’t disappoint those of us (taxpayers) who just can’t afford to keep giving everything away!!! Let the people who feel strongly about funding this service send a check to the Health Department. It would, actually, lower their taxes by counting their donation as a charatible contribution.

    Wilmington Observer

  • Guest51 says:

    Hey Catlin if it is ” incumbent ” for public officials to make an informed decision; why not do it the 1st time? You voted against the money twice and led the other board members in your direction. If you place a vote stand by it….. Even if you are taking a political gamble. Politicians have no backbone. If this truly how you believe stand by your vote…. Voters will let you know how they fill in November. You all thought that you were going to get brownie points with the more outspoken right side and now you are doing the Texas two step backwards because you ruffled a few feathers.

    The county, state, and country need leaders who make informed decisions and don’t just try ride the coat tails of what seems to be popular. You were elected to do a job and by making an uninformed decision you have all failed miserably. This side stepping you are doing shows the voters what you are truly made of

  • Martian Male says:

    He sees now random sexual intercourse is a chemically-induced brain reaction similar to what drugs do to the brain. He sees the Social Services welfare check department budget of (37 million) taxpayer dollars. He sees that Social Services is the 3rd highest expense department in the county behind the sheriff’s department/jail (35 Million) and the county school’s budget (72.5 Million). He sees the people that need this 10 year birth control device are not in his neighborhood nor on his cycle of marital relations. He sees.

  • Guest1011 says:

    It’s easy to cave when you’re being bullied by the ACLU. I think they were a little rash to turn down the money, but spending it on IUDs for women who are non-compliant with other methods is going too far. Other methods are way cheaper and could serve many more women. The health department isn’t responsible for your body, ladies…you are! And I’m a woman, by the way.

  • Guest7969 says:

    Barfield bowing to the ACLU…SAY IT ISN’T SO. The Commissioners ABSOLUTELY made the right decision here! I’m SICK AND TIRED of the leeches!

  • separation says:

    to me why it is, in a country that was founded on SEPARATION of CHURCH and STATE, where we fight to have the freedom to live our life being able to make choices that best suit ourselves, politicians believe that they have the right to force their religous beliefs down our throats, make decions based on what their god tells them, and make legislation from what a book says. It’s great the the commissioners have moral values and believe in god, but they weren’t elected as preachers and moral compasses, it is their duty as an elected official to do what’s best for society as a whole. We all follow different levels and brands of religion, have different moral compasses, and live our lives as we see fit. So for Mr Catlin to say he voted against this because he doesn’t believe in pre-marital sex, is wrong for so many reasons (and I’m pretty sure Mr Berger does not have the same moral belief). First being, not all of this money would be spent on single women, what about the married women who request help with this matter. Seems to me, what’s best for society as a whole, is to receive this grant money (it’s not NHC tax dollars, point 2) to keep these women who can’t afford birth control, from having babies that they don’t want and can’t afford. The alternative being, that instead of providing birth control, these women would end up having kids that the rest of society will spend more money in the long run, taking care of and spending more tax dollars for health care and food. Even more dispicable then the fact that they can’t seem to remember separation of church and state, is the fact that they apparently didn’t bother to do any research, investigating, or opinion gathering BEFORE they voted against it. And now they look like total idiots, because they are going to change their minds. To all politicians, stop trying to force your religous beliefs on the rest of us, and do your job as an elected official, and make decisions base on common sense and what’s good for society as a whole, not based on hiding behind your religion because you have no spine to stand up and to the job you were elected to do.

  • Guest28451 says:

    Says nothing about Seperation of Church and State it says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    That means the FEDERAL Government shall not create nor advocate any particular religion but it also may not infringe upon the free exercise thereof by others.

    The case can be made that forcing peoples tax money to be used in ways that it violates their own religious beliefs would in fact be a violation of their own 1st Amendment rights.

    Not saying or advocating either way but the fact is it seems in this country anymore that advocating anything other then a Judeo-Christian value is encouraged while anything related to Judeo-Christian values is vilified. Public schools denounce prayer and discussions of Christmas and Easter/Passover yet discussions about Islamic Holidays and made up holidays like Kwanzaa are perfectly acceptable. The Double standard has to stop. If you are going to demand secularism in the public school system then that means ALL religious discussion must cease not just that which the school feels is inappropriate (which apparently is only primarily Christian/Judeo-Christian issues). The fact that everything BUT Christianity is considered acceptable in the public schools as well as in many other government settings is in fact a 1st Amendment violation as it amounts “prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.

  • Guest69985 says:

    I’m pretty sure you can go out and have sex with anyone you darn well please without the consent of the New Hanover County Commissioner so I don’t see they are forcing anything down your throat. I’m also pretty sure you have access to free or low cost birth control if you wish to prevent pregnancy while doing so. It may not be the EXACT thing you want, but when you get things for FREE you don’t get to choose what you want but what is reasonable in the minds of those governing to provide. You don’t get to go to private school because you’d rather have that than public school. You don’t get a ride in a limo instead of taking the subsidized bus because the bus is on their schedule and not yours. They’ve simply put their foot down and stated that they’ve already given at the office. The recipients can’t even be bothered to be grateful enough to use it so why are you going to throw even MORE money at people who don’t even use what you already provide?

    Your life has not been changed one bit. Stop with the drama.

  • John H says:

    I completely agree with the reasoning that there is a significant BENEFIT TO SOCIETY in accepting these funds. This is similar to the kind of issues going on in many countries around the world(AIDS/condoms). This is smart, forward thinking, and COST EFFECTIVE public spending. BUT!!!!!
    It is a disgusting bit of “sausage making” for many people. It is not always religion that drives the resistance to this kind of spending. We must be careful not to alienate too many folks by dragging religion into the fray. I say this while fully aware that many religious folks do drag religion into this. Let them be the ignorant few, don’t join them.

  • Guest Apu says:

    Even if the county continues the program after the grant runs out, which they very well may not do, IUDs are still a lot cheaper than welfare payments on new babies.

  • WilmMan says:

    Who do you think pays for this in a year when the grant runs out??? We do….the grant doesn’t last forever

  • WilmMan says:

    Either way…I already pay for birth control pills, I shouldn’t have to pay for IUDs as well

  • Guest Apu says:

    If I knew you, I’d give you your fair portion back – 1/10th of a cent.

    Have you ever thought that some women can’t take birth control pills for a variety of medical reasons? Some women can’t use condoms because of a latex allergy. There’s a reason the health dept provides a variety of contraception methods. The method often depends on what a doctor prescribes for the patient (birth control pills and IUDs are prescription only). It’s not up to you, or a bunch of male county commissioners to second guess a doctor’s orders.

  • WilmMan says:

    Yes I know some woman can’t take birth control pills but that is why they can use condoms. And yes I also know some woman can’t use latex condoms but that is also why the health dept offers different kinds of condoms. You are right that it isn’t up to me or any male to 2nd guess a doctor’s order but it is up to me and my right to 2nd guess where my tax money is being used…even if its only one penny

  • WilmMan says:

    Women also receive free birth control pills…I shouldn’t have to pay for IUDs because a woman isn’t smart enough to remember to take her pill

  • blueyez0605 says:

    Mr WilMan,
    Your ignorance as well as a lot of people commenting on this board and other places is infuriating. IUD’s, Birthcontrol pills, and other medicines are used for multiple things other than contraception. For instance I have a medical issue where I need to take birth control pills, it is my treatment. I have been on ‘the pill’ since I was 11 years old. I will probably never have children and at 11 years old I was certainly not using it to prevent becoming pregnant.

    My point here is, IUD’s do not only prevent pregnancies. All women are not sluts. And yes there may be those women out there who will take advantage of the system ( there always is). I am blessed enough to have insurance that helps me pay for my treatments. I can’t imagine how desparate women are that are not fortunate enough to have insurance.

  • WilmMan says:

    This is about birth control….and females can get the pill OR condoms. There is no reason I should have to pay for IUDs as well. I’m sorry about your situation but but that has nothing to do with this discussion…there are very effect free alternatives and I shouldn’t have to pay for anything extraextra

  • GuestK says:

    First, let me tell you who you are responding to. I “kept my legs shut” until I was 18 years old…and was date raped. That was the scariest night of my life. Thank God I did not get pregnant. Now, mind you, this was even before guys slipped Ecstacy in drinks like girls face today. As a protection, I got an IUD but was lucky enough to be able to get it for myself. But many cannot. If 6 even just young women can get this protection with a tenth of my tax penny, hallelujah!

    And, by the way. I have a child concieved despite a condom.

  • GuestT says:

    I am lucky enough to have had insurance that covered an IUD, the more expensive and non-hormonal copper one. It was $750 out of pocket and I was reimbursed $325 from my insurance company. So, just by that reasoning, TWELVE women would be covered and it would last them at least a DECADE! Just by that virtue alone, you have saved so many of those precious pennies, dear worried tax payers! I know that the other type of IUD is less expensive, so in the long run, this option is not only easier and cheaper, but provides one of the ONLY non-hormonal means of birth control and is LESS expensive in the long run. Sounds like a win-win to me.

  • Guest7969 says:

    care about your sob story…you already get birth control for free…IUD’s are a luxury…NOT a necessity!

  • John Henry says:

    A free condom for anyone who can’t spell and thinks condoms prevent the spread of STDs…. isn’t good enough. Should be a forced IUD.

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