By SHANNAN BOWEN
Copyright StarNews 2012
Reprinted with permission
Following opinions on public funding of contraceptives, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to turn down a state family planning grant that would cover contraceptive supplies along with other medical services related to family planning.
Commissioner Rick Catlin, who represents the commissioners on the county’s health board, said he also voted against accepting the funds when the item was on the health board’s agenda.
He said he was concerned with answers to questions he asked about the funds.
“The answers that I got were that there were patients that were not being responsible with existing family planning that was being offered and that this would provide a more reliable solution for those people,” Catlin said at Monday afternoon’s commissioners meeting.
He added that he had an issue with “using taxpayer dollars to fund someone’s irresponsibility.”
The county’s health department was awarded $8,899 in family planning funds that would “provide medical services related to family planning including physician’s consultation, examination, prescription, continuing supervision, laboratory examination and contraceptive supplies,” according to a budget amendment item included in documents for Monday’s commissioners meeting. The county was not required to match the state grant.
Chairman Ted Davis said he thought it was a sad day when “taxpayers are asked to pay money to buy contraceptives” for women having sex without planning responsibly.
“If these young women were responsible people and didn’t have the sex to begin with, we wouldn’t be in this situation,” Davis said.
Commissioner Jonathan Barfield said he was “one of those abstinence guys” and agreed with Davis’ comment.
No one made a motion to accept the funds. Instead, Catlin made a motion not to accept the funds.
Catlin said during the discussion that his views had nothing to do with discussions about contraceptives on the national level, which have included whether religious institutions should be required to offer birth control coverage.