County Commission To Delay Discussion On Family Planning Program

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The County Commission will not discuss the health department's family planning program next Thursday after all.

Commission Chairman Larry Henry said the topic will be delayed until Wednesday, May 18.

He said County Commissioner Mitch McClure will be absent next Thursday and requested the delay.

Chairman Henry said he acquiesced, noting that it was Commissioner McClure who brought up concerns about the program.

The commission voted Wednesday morning to reject a $581,700 state grant for the ongoing contraceptive program at the health department.

Commissioner McClure had questioned Becky Barnes, health department director, on whether the program involved distribution of "the morning after pill." She said it did.

After the surprise vote, Ms. Barnes implored the commissioners to reconsider doing away with the family planning program.

She said the health department is not involved in anyway in abortion. She said, "The morning after pill does not cause an abortion."

Ms. Barnes said the pill is a triple-dose contraceptive that can be taken the morning after a woman has sex. She said conception does not happen at the moment of sex and the pill can prevent unwanted pregnancies from occurring.

She said such pills allow families the time to choose when pregnancies will occur.

Commissioner Greg Beck was the only one voting for it. Chairman Henry initially voted for it, but changed his vote, saying he had been on the phone at the time the discussion was going on.

Ms. Barnes is to have a presentation on the family planning program on May 18.

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