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New Hampshire GOPers seize on Planned Parenthood videos to slash contraception, STD testing funds

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Republicans in New Hampshire this week seized on several undercover Planned Parenthood videos to cut funds that the organization uses to provide contraception, STD testing and other non-abortive services.

By a 3-2 vote, the state’s Republican-controlled Executive Council rejected $650,000 in state funds for Planned Parenthood, which represents about a third of its annual budget, WMUR reported.

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GOP councilor Chris Sununu said that he voted against the funding based on recently-released videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing fetal tissue donation practices. Although Planned Parenthood’s New Hampshire organization does not accept tissue donations, Sununu said that the state should be investigating the group instead of funding it.

Supporters of Planned Parenthood have accused the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress of deceptively editing the videos.

In a statement, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) called the Executive Committee’s decision disappointing.

“Planned Parenthood provides critical primary and preventive health care services to thousands of New Hampshire women, including cancer screenings, birth control and STD testing,” Hassan said. “Access to these services is essential to the economic security and vitality of our families, and I am incredibly disappointed in the outcome of today’s vote.”

“It is clear that today’s vote is the result of an ideological and political attack against Planned Parenthood and a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions, as there have been no allegations or evidence that Planned Parenthood of Northern New England has done anything but follow New Hampshire law and help thousands of women and families access health care,” she continued. “The council’s vote to defund Planned Parenthood will hurt the health and economic well-being of thousands of Granite Staters.”

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Jennifer Horn, chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party, cited the Planned Parenthood videos in defense of the vote.

“The appalling videos showing Planned Parenthood executives discussing the sale of human body parts have raised serious and legitimate concerns,” Horn said in a statement. “Instead of calling for an investigation of Planned Parenthood’s potentially criminal activity, Governor Hassan has turned a blind eye to this controversy and tried to give more taxpayer dollars to this scandal-plagued organization.”

Horn added: “We applaud Councilors Sununu, Wheeler and Kenney for standing up for taxpayers by refusing to fund Planned Parenthood and calling for an official investigation of its practices. It’s time for Governor Hassan to put politics aside and work with the Commissioner of Health and Human Services and the Executive Council to identify alternative health care providers to cover the services that were included in this contract.”

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Watch the video below from WMUR, broadcast Aug. 5, 2015.

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