Congressional Candidates Challenging Reproductive Rights Champions All Want to Defund Planned Parenthood
For Immediate Release: Oct. 19, 2022
Bolduc, Leavitt, and Burns Have All Publicly Touted Support to Cut Funds
NEW HAMPSHIRE — This election season, New Hampshire voters have a choice between sitting members of Congress and anti-abortion extremists who are committed to undermining Granite Staters’ reproductive freedom. All three anti-abortion congressional candidates — Senate candidate Don Bolduc and House candidates Karoline Leavit and Bob Burns — have repeatedly stated their desire to defund Planned Parenthood health centers. Cutting federal funding for the nation’s largest network of publicly-funded reproductive health providers would threaten the health of millions of people, especially those who have low incomes and are uninsured. In New Hampshire alone, that jeopardizes essential preventive care, including birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing for over 11,000 Granite Staters.
Four times since 2021, the state’s Executive Council has eliminated funds for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and independent reproductive health care providers by rejecting their state family planning program contracts. To be clear, federal and state funding is already prohibited from being used directly or indirectly for abortion services, which means that by denying the contracts, the Executive Council withheld funding only from the preventive health services that thousands of Granite Staters rely on.
Extremist candidates Don Bolduc, Karoline Leavitt, and Bob Burns want to make sure that the entire country is denied care the same way that Granite Staters have been. Listen to what each of them has said on the campaign trail:
- When asked on the Keith Hanson Show in July of 2019 if Planned Parenthood should be defunded, Don Bolduc answered: “It should be defunded. It should be defunded.”
- When asked by radio host Jack Heath if she agreed or disagreed with a recent New Hampshire Executive Council vote to defund family planning providers, including Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Karoline Leavitt responded: “I absolutely agree with that vote. Thank you to the Executive Council for making it…we should defund Planned Parenthood.”
- In an August 2022 radio debate between 2nd Congressional District candidates, Bob Burns told host Jack Heath when asked if he supported funding for Planned Parenthood: “I’ve been very clear…No organization that performs abortions should get money…I’ve heard the ring around that they try to say ‘This money isn’t for abortions, it’s for women’s health’ - I don’t believe that. That’s not how that works. No organization that performs abortions will get federal dollars.” Additionally, in an iVoter Guide profile, Burns responded “Strongly Agree” to the statement “Abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, should not receive funds from federal, state or local governments (including Title X grants).”
Statement from Kayla Montgomery, New Hampshire State Director, Planned Parenthood Votes:
“Planned Parenthood is a trusted reproductive health care provider, and calling for Granite Staters to lose access to the quality, affordable care that health centers deliver is dangerous and out-of-touch with New Hampshire values. Since Roe v. Wade fell, politicians have escalated attacks on access to safe, legal abortion and birth control across the country, including another New Hampshire Executive Council vote to dismantle New Hampshire’s Family Planning Program.
At a time when our nation’s sexual and reproductive health care landscape is in chaos, anti-abortion politicians are using family planning funding as a political football with no regard for the health and wellbeing of real people. Our communities need access to the services provided by Planned Parenthood health centers, which include birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment. Planned Parenthood Votes knows that defunding Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health providers is deeply unpopular, and we are proud to fight to elect representatives who will protect those providers. New Hampshire voters must elect champions Maggie Hassan, Annie Kuster, and Chris Pappas because they will always stand up for the health care their constituents and Planned Parenthood patients nationwide need.”
Background on efforts to defund health centers in New Hampshire:
Since 2021, New Hampshire’s Executive Council has voted four times against routine family planning contracts with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (see FAQ re: PPNNE contract here), Equality Health Center, and Lovering Health Center even though state officials have confirmed repeatedly that no funding has been used for abortion care. The Executive Council previously defunded PPNNE in 2015 and 2011. No alternative providers have come forward or been identified to deliver this care. These votes have dismantled the New Hampshire Family Planning Program, destabilized the state’s network of care, and jeopardized access to preventative health care for more than 15,000 Granite Staters.
In Fiscal Year 2022, New Hampshire health centers saw 11,127 patients and 61% were low income (defined as less than twice FPL, or $25,760 for a household of 1). PPNNE saw 36,288 patients.
In 2019, the Trump administration defunded Planned Parenthood of federal dollars under the gag rule. The Biden administration reversed the policy, but federal funds did not return until spring of 2022. The FY 20-21 state budget contained backfill funding to mitigate the impact of this harmful policy, but New Hampshire budget writers rejected efforts to add backfill Title X funds into the current state budget.
While PPNNE is a direct grantee of federal funds, Lovering Health Center and Equality Health Center are not, therefore they are currently operating with no federal or state support.
New Hampshire has the lowest unintended pregnancies and teen pregnancy rates in the country and some of the best maternal health outcomes; the New Hampshire Family Planning Program is part of the network of care that supports these positive measures.
Planned Parenthood Votes is an independent expenditure political committee registered with the Federal Election Commission.
Paid for by Planned Parenthood Votes, 123 William St, NY NY 10038. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.