The XX Factor

North Carolina Legislature Overrides Veto, Defunds Contraception Services

Birth control supporters.
Supporters of Planned Parenthood and the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws protest outside of the Hyatt Regency where Mitt Romney was scheduled to attend a fundraiser on March 22, 2012 in Washington, D.C.

Photograph by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

It seems Republican state legislators in North Carolina really, really don’t want low-income women to have access to contraception and STD prevention/treatment. They’ve been tackling the cause of cutting off state funding to Planned Parenthood—none of which goes to abortion care—with the same diligence of a puppy with a new squeak toy. First they tried just banning the organization from getting money, which a judge blocked because of anti-discrimination rules. Then they passed a bill banning all “private” contractors from getting state funding for contraception. The governor vetoed that, and so they stayed late Monday night to successfully override the veto. Consider that squeaky toy chewed until it don’t squeak no more!


The ruse for these attacks on Planned Parenthood is “abortion,” but since the funding targeted is inevitably never for abortion, the ruse can be considered another in a long line of ruses disguised as legitimate legislation, which the South in particular has been fond of since passing “poll taxes” and “literacy tests” in a barely concealed ruse to strip black citizens of their voting rights. There’s a lot of power in the perception that sexy young but broke ladies are availing themselves of cheap contraception at Planned Parenthood so they can bed hot young men instead of, perhaps, more stately Republican gentlemen who may be graying but also have the money to pay for discreet abortions. Or, if you prefer, in stories of hot young women using contraception so they can screw around without having to get married young, start wearing mom jeans, and quietly give up on life instead of making bitter old conservatives burn with resentment at them. Pick your poison, but either way, keeping contraception out of their hands apparently is important enough to keep North Carolina legislators from cutting out early for their Independence Day barbeques. Which I suppose makes sense. Barbeque tastes richer and fireworks are just that much brighter if you feel you’ve done your due diligence in making sure as many people who slip out early for some hot loving pay for their sins with unwanted pregnancy or STDs.