October 3, 2011 — A Christian legal organization representing three members of the New Hampshire Executive Council filed a formal protest with HHS and the Government Accountability Office over the federal government's decision to award a Title X family planning contract to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, the AP/Boston Globe reports (AP/Boston Globe, 9/30).
In early July, the all-Republican Executive Council voted 3-2 against a new contract that would have awarded PPNNE $1.8 million in state and federal funds for two years. After the decision, PPNNE's six centers in the state stopped dispensing contraceptives because the organization operated under a limited retail pharmacy license that was contingent on having a state contract.
In August, New Hampshire Health Commissioner Nick Toumpas informed HHS officials that state health officials did not plan to restore family planning services previously offered by PPNNE (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/22). HHS in September announced that it would contract directly with family planning clinics in the state and awarded a $1.1 million contract to PPNNE (Pecquet, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 9/30).
The Alliance Defense Fund filed the protest on behalf of councilors David Wheeler, Dan St. Hilaire and Ray Wieczorkek. In a letter to HHS and GAO, the three councilors said the grant was "improper, irregular, unnecessary, in contravention of the authority of the Executive Council and its duly elected members, and in disregard of the sovereignty of the state of New Hampshire." The letter also alleged that the decision violates the Public Health Service Act and federal acquisition regulations (Rayno, New Hampshire Union Leader, 10/1).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership