This has been a hot button issue in our area. On Monday, New Hanover County commissioners unanimously voted to turn down a $9,000 state grant that would help pay for family planning at the county health department.
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On Monday afternoon, commissioner Rick Catlin said people aren't using contraceptives responsibly. Commissioner Chairman Ted Davis said the money shouldn't help pay for those who are having premarital sex.
New Hanover County was one of nearly 60 counties across North Carolina to receive the one-time aid. The NHC health department was planning on using the funds for IUDs, which stands for intrauterine device. It's a form of birth control where a device is placed in the uterus to prevent pregnancy.
The story is getting national attention from Talking Points Memo, and it even cites WECT. Hundreds of people are sharing their opinions.
However, now it seems there's a little mess. Commissioner Jonathan Barfield (and the lone Democrat) is now saying he regrets his vote.
On Facebook, he wrote:
"I'm getting a good lesson from my wife right this minute on the error of my vote," he posted around 7:30 p.m. Monday.
He later posted around 8:15 p.m.: "I just interviewed with WECT as I cited the error of my vote. I don't have the right to choose for any woman. If you watch the tape of the meeting you'll get a better sense of the discussion. Bottom line we should have accepted the money."
Representative Susi Hamilton, also a Democrat, wrote on Facebook: "It sounds to me that Ted Davis and Rick Catlin think that women get pregnant all by themselves." She posted that statement around 5:30 p.m. Monday.
Jon and I were discussing the issue, too, during our nightly live chat. We brought up the issue of the role of government and whether county leaders made a good decision in turning down grant money.