By Julian Pecquet - 09/30/11 06:36 PM EDT
A majority of the New Hampshire Executive Council is demanding that the Obama administration cancel a $1.1 million grant to Planned Parenthood that was awarded over the state’s objections.
The council voted 3-2 in June to terminate a $1.8 million annual grant to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England over concerns about taxpayer funding for abortion. Earlier this month, the Department of Health and Human Services announced it would directly contract with the family-planning clinics.
The letter also takes HHS to task for its alleged lack of transparency. The members wrote that the department has treated the council’s requests for information as formal Freedom of Information Act requests that go through a sometimes-lengthy vetting process, and has thus failed to respond promptly to the council’s request for documentation about the grant and its award.
“In stark contrast to HHS’ unannounced process leading up to [the award],” the members wrote, “all aspects of the Executive Council’s decision were and are matters of public record and were and are well-known to HHS.”
HHS called its noncompetitive grant an “urgent replacement grant” designed to “minimize the interruption of needed clinical services and to protect the public health in New Hampshire.”