Two weeks ago, the Executive Council voted 4 to 1 to defund three family planning clinics. The justification for the vote was the three clinics provide abortion services and the money might “mingle with other public funds.”

Public funds have not been used to fund abortions. This was made clear by Lori Shibinette, commissioner for NHDHHS. “Not authorizing this request could remove the safety net of services that improve birth outcomes, prevent unplanned pregnancy and reduce health disparities, which could lead to poor health and economic outcomes for individuals and increase the cost of health care for New Hampshire citizens.”

As a health care professional working in urgent care, I see a diverse range of clients coming from all walks of life. We care for people of all ages, religions, ethnicities, races and gender identities. For patients without insurance, services are paid out of pocket, which is expensive.

The clinics which the Executive Council voted to defund provide the following services: STI testing, PAP tests, cancer screening, mammograms, HIV services, birth control, as well as general reproductive health exams.

Eliminating funding for family planning clinics will drive up cost. Women will still become pregnant; sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, will continue.

Leaving the less-fortunate without these services is cruel, unnecessary, and leads to economic hardship that the taxpayers will end up funding down the road.

Please reach out to Gov. Sununu and the members of the Executive Council to reconsider the impact their decision has on our citizens.