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.