Thursday, February 9, 2012

Haslam Stonewalls Questions on Planned Parenthood Defunding

Posted By on Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM

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Gov. Bill Haslam is refusing to explain why his commissioner of health yanked $150,000 worth of grants for STD and HIV prevention programs from Planned Parenthood. Instead, the governor has lawyered up, claiming he can't talk about this matter because Planned Parenthood sued the state in federal court over it last week.

Why did your health commissioner revoke those contracts? we asked Haslam today.

Haslam: We feel very comfortable in the lawsuit and because it is a lawsuit there’s not a whole lot I can say.

Q: Why would you revoke the contracts? You gave them the contracts and then you revoked them. Why?

Haslam: I think the commissioner felt like there were other people who could provide that service just as well.

Q: Why not let Planned Parenthood do it? You gave them the contracts before you revoked them.

Haslam: The commissioner felt like there were other people who could provide that service just as well.

Of course, this was just a little game we were playing. Haslam knows why the grants were taken away, and he knows we know. In fact, everyone knows. It's all part of the social conservative jihad against Planned Parenthood for having the audacity to perform a perfectly legal health care service, i.e., abortions. As part of his pandering to the right wing of his party, Haslam must try to starve Planned Parenthood of cash. He just can't say that's why he's doing it because it's illegal to deny federal money to an organization for purely political reasons.

Memphis has the nation’s fifth highest infection rate for syphilis. The HIV infection rate among 15- to 24-year-olds in this state has doubled in the past five years. It's a fine time for Haslam to play political games with people's health.

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