Anti-choice groups are working to block state and national funds to Planned Parenthood’s health clinics across the country, but one organization in New Hampshire has found a slightly different method to prevent the state’s Planned Parenthood clinics from carrying out their work. New Hampshire Right to Life wants to deny Planned Parenthood its pharmaceutical licenses, which would prevent it from filling prescriptions for birth control for women in the state.
Earlier this summer, Republicans attempted to shut down New Hampshire’s Planned Parenthood branches by blocking state funds, citing the familiar far-right argument that Planned Parenthood shouldn’t receive funding for the range of preventative health services they provide for low-income women because abortions make up three percent of their total services. Because the organization was forced to seek direct funding from Washington to keep their health clinics open, the anti-choice group claims that Planned Parenthood is now ineligible to dispense prescription contraceptives:
According to New Hampshire Right to Life, the clinics lost their ability to dispense birth control pills, RU-486, the morning-after pill and related prescriptions in June 2011, when the Executive Council voted to halt state participation in the funding of the clinics. [...]
State law requires a licensed pharmacist to dispense prescriptions, but it contains an exemption for family-planning clinics if they operate under contract with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.
In April, Right to Life filed a complaint with the Board of Pharmacy claiming that exemption no longer applies.
New Hampshire Planned Parenthood has issued a statement in response to say they are “confident” they are within the bounds of state law and remain eligible for their six pharmaceutical licenses. However, they do have to apply for a renewal of their licenses, and the matter is scheduled for a full Board of Pharmacy hearing next week.