On Wednesday, in a 3 to 2 vote, the New Hampshire Executive Council approved funding for Planned Parenthood to operate in the state.
According to New Hampshire Public Radio, the deciding vote in favor of funding was cast by GOP councilor Chris Sununu, who is currently running for governor of the New England state.
“I’m not going to let politics determine the importance of funds that go to help low-income women. I’ve been a supporter of these types of funds since the day I became a councilor, and I’m going to maintain my consistency with that support,” Sununu told reporters.
“This contract is really about making sure that 12,000 women have access to funds,” Sununu said. “Yes, it would be, some say, politically convenient to stop that and put it in its place. But the constituents of my district have put me into the executive council to uphold the constitution, to treat everyone with fairness.”
“I think we have the chance today to right the wrong that was done last summer and I ask councilor Kenney, Councilor Wheeler and Councilor Sununu to do the right thing,” said Democratic councilor Colin Van Ostern prior to the vote.
Republican opponents of funding for the health agency argue that they have seen videos that paint Planned Parenthood as mercenary traffickers in fetal tissue and thus do not want to fund the agency.
“This is page two of the Planned Parenthood manual for medical standards and guidelines. It says ‘abortal tissue donation programs.’ Can you tell me what they are doing with abortal tissue donations?” said Republican David Wheeler.
Wheeler and other Republicans have been duped by a now-debunked propaganda campaign by radical antiabortion group the Center for Medical Progress, which released deceptively-edited videos of Planned Parenthood staffers claiming they showed that the health agency was a hub of fetal organ trafficking that auctioned off the remains of aborted babies to the highest bidder.
The executive council cut off a third of the agency’s funding last year. Sununu’s reversal on the topic — which includes retroactive funding for the months since the last vote — outraged Republicans who expected him to vote as he did in August.
“Chris, I was going to support him, I’m not now,” said Republican voter Pam Coluntuono, who attended the voting ceremony in the council’s chambers, which were packed with voters on both sides of the issue.
Another Republican, Frank Edelblut, said that Sununu’s shift shows a lack of ethics.
“Clearly what this shows is we’ve got a lack of principle here. We need a governor who has principles that the voters can rely on,” he complained.
“Well, he felt he had to do what he had to do. Im sure but I’m not that happy about his vote at all, and I think this will hurt him,” said former state rep Phyills Katasakores (R).
Chris Sununu is the son of former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, who has been vocal in his racially-tinged criticisms of Pres. Barack Obama.
The elder Sununu has called Obama “lazy,” “disengaged” and “not that bright.”