Protest held in response to commissioners turning down family planning funds
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Just days after New Hanover County Commissioners voted against state funding for contraceptives, the response has been incredible.

A few hundred people came to Riverfront Park in downtown Wilmington Thursday in protest of the vote. The board's vote Monday has since made national headlines, even getting a response from the ACLU of North Carolina. Though commissioners will re-examine the funding at their April meeting, they are still catching backlash from their initial decision.

"It's just a shame that they are having to waste the time that was such a no-brainer in the first place," protestor Page Rutledge said.

"I couldn't really believe we were talking about 2012," protestor Carol Chappell said. "We're talking about something I stood up for 40 years ago."

Commissioners Jonathan Barfield and Jason Thompson showed up to listen and take questions, but Thompson found the gathering unproductive.

"Mostly it was people name calling and pushing me and spitting at me," Thompson said. "There are just some really nasty people down here."

The commission will take another look at the family planning funding at its April 2 meeting. Commissioners and the Health Department plan to be fully prepared for the second time around.

"Based on the information I had on Monday, I made the correct vote," Thompson said. "We're going to hear it again in April, and of course the Board of Health has already given new information. Some commissioners are getting new information."

However, some wonder if a change of vote will mean a change of heart.

"I think if they vote it through, it's to appease the people. I don't think it changes anything in reality," protestor Melissa Robon said.

"I can tell you that I will put my money where my mouth is and make sure more women get elected," Rutledge said.

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I was there the entire time and much of that time was close to Jason Thompson, upon whom no one spit, or shoved, or pushed him PHYSICALLY that I saw. Quite a few of us women did tell him how displeased we were with his arrogance and what we considered poor decision. Perhaps he is so unaccustomed to having any woman confront him that he felt threatened. With any luck he has a short time left to feel intimidated by the women he is supposed to be working for.

What a liar! Yeah a couple of women got in his face. But pushing and spitting? I never saw it and judging from the number of video camera's present someone would have taped it and posted it by now. We are not talking about a couple hundred college students, most of these women were over 40.

Jason only showed up to play the drama queen for his GOP handlers,I used to defend this guy for speaking his mind and showing some backbone but he just becoming another political hack.

I personally do not like Mr. Thompson but I do have to agree with his assessment of the "protest". I also attended to advocate ACTUAL women's health. I was accosted, scoffed at and ridiculed for advocating that for women and men's health - the ONLY protection from AIDs, STDs & pregnancy - Abstinence or a Condom. Women and men can have all the intimate relations they choose and use all the birth control they want but they do not have right to ask others to pay for their pleasure.

....women arriving in a Lexus and wearing a $250 Jones New York blazer demanding that women receive free contraception! It's as ridiculous as Ms. Fluke spending $50k per year to attend law school, but whining that she can't afford birth control.

This is not a "war on women," this is a war on exapnding the welfare state mentality via freebies from the government. The belief that free contraception is a "right" is laughable, and the simple fact is that low-income women already receive free contrception through the Department of Health.

The rest of you can pay your own way through life.

Here's hoping that four of the five members of the County Commission who voted against this nonsensical waste of money retain their backbones and vote the same as they did in the face of what is obviously a coordinated national political movement by the left.

No one at that rally was "demanding that women receive free contraception" !

It was about the County Commissioners turning down a GRANT (which will be spent one way or another) to aid the Health Dept. buy IUDs for women who cannot take the birth control pill. To add insult to injury, three of the commissioners called women who seek access to birth control "irresponsible", which is absurd. If a woman is attempting to prevent unwanted pregnancy, isn't that being RESPONSIBLE?

It is the Republicans who seem to be willfully ignorant of this issue, and I wish BOTH sides would focus on their duties like improving job creation, roads, law enforcement and education and keep out of womens' personal lives and health concerns.

All of those complaining about not wanting your tax money being spent on other's "enjoyment"--get ready for a $40 million baseball stadium to be shoved down your throats. Let's see how loud you howl about that. DO you have the BALLS?

No, obviously you don't. I was there at the very beginning, voicing my opinion. Once the county commissioners announced that they had no interest in the stadium, I backed off: I don't care what Wilmington does, and long ago chalked them up as a corrupt government racing toward insolvency. So in that regard, YOU are the one who is obviously ignorant....but we'll let that go....

Indigent women who cannot take oral contraceptives can receive Depo-provera or all the free condoms they want at the Department of Health. Very convenient to gloss over that fact, isn't it...or did you not know that? Were you ignorant of that?

The state cannot afford to be giving away over one-half million dollars of money that it doesn't have to private entities, to fund an effort that is already in place at the counties' Departments of Health.

Thanks for that one sentence regarding the issue at hand, and the rest of your political diatribe.

Wake Up
I am jobless.
I cannot afford Birth Control.
Even 50 cent condoms
But I can threaten you to
pay for my pleasure or
force you to pay for 18 years of social costs.
Advocate true women's health - Only Condoms or Abstinence prevent AIDs, STDs, & Pregnancy.

Don't think I disagree with birth control. If it were up to me, a vasectomy or implanted BC device would be mandatory for half the people on planet Earth.

However, the women who have kids who end up the problem of the taxpayer, the kid was so often a strategic move to get more benefits, not an accident. BC isn't even going to start to solve that problem and it really isn't even lessening it.

They'll give you all the free condoms you need.

It is absolutely preposterous for people to think it is ok to use tax dollars to fund someone elses irresponsibilty.

Ladies, quit being all emotional and utilize the head your hair is hanging on. Abstinence, free birth control. Requires restraint and responsible decision making and using your mouth more.

Guys, quit thinking like chicks and use that knoggin for something than stealing oxygen. Use some common sense, reason and logic behind your decision making and pull out.

All you bra flag burning hippies...

GTFO of Wilmington and move to Oregon, Seattle or San Fransico.

Clearly, another example of WWAY and Scott Pickeys attempt at yellow journalism and being inciteful. Real responsible reporting.

Mean, sexist, demeaning, degrading, and horrid.

By your reasoning (?), insurance should not cover obesity related Type II diabetes medication.

Wow, totally went 5th grade on me. My comments were meant to be inciteful, mean, degrading, hateful, antogonistic and horrid.

To answer the question about Type II diabetes, yes. Since it can be controlled by getting up off the couch and putting down the ho ho's or gallon of iced tea, I feel it is irresponsible to have insurance keep covering the expense.

Abstinence is just not limited to sex. Comfort foods, depression related compulsions etc...

It is called being responsible for your own actions.