All five members of the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to cancel a health education contract with the local Planned Parenthood, cutting about $300,000 from the group.
Each supervisor cited an objection to abortion as the motive behind the vote. Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider of abortions.
"Not to generalize, but when you contact a law firm that specializes in bankruptcies, they most likely will advise you to file for bankruptcy," Supervisor John Moorlach wrote in an email to constituents.
"If you go to Planned Parenthood, they are most likely to recommend their specialized surgical solution, which they provide and are compensated for, which appears to be a conflict of interest."
Planned Parenthood representatives criticized the vote in a lengthy debate beforehand, saying that the funds supplied by the county board did not go toward abortions.
"It’s clear this decision is being driven by personal religious ideology and not the vision of health care for the county," said Jon Dunn, president of Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino. "They’re opposed to our organization because they’re opposed to a woman’s right to choose."
"I think abortion is a moral issue," said Supervisor Chris Norby before the vote. "I don’t believe the county should be funding abortion, and I don’t believe the county really should be involved in funding an organization who performs about 35 percent of the abortions in the country."
Planned Parenthood said the legality of the move would be challenged, as they accused the board of overstepping its authority by voting based on moral and religious ideology.
According to the Orange County Register, the county’s contract with Planned Parenthood was approved in June through a $7.5 million agreement with the Orange County Coalition of Community Clinics. The report that supervisors saw before the vote did not name the 18 fund recipients, which included Planned Parenthood. Supervisor John Moorlach proposed to revisit the contract last month after he became aware that Planned Parenthood was on the list.
The supervisors will discuss over the next 30 days which organization should now receive the funding.
Kathleen Eaton, CEO and founder of Birth Choice Health Clinics, lauded the vote and urged pro-lifers to thank the board members.
To contact Orange County board members:
Supervisor John Moorlach
Chairwoman Pat Bates
Supervisor Bill Campbell
Supervisor Chris Norby
Supervisor Janet Nguyen