NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said it is “wrong on many levels” for the federal government to give $3.9 million to Planned Parenthood originally meant to go to the state under Title X.
“The federal government withheld critical funding from TN families, so they could funnel taxpayer dollars to a radical political organization,” Lee wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday.
In the spring, Tennessee lost out in funding from the Title X program meant to people who earn low-income family planning services.
According to a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services, Tennessee was not in compliance with program requirements because of the state’s decision not to inform pregnant clients abortion is a possible option.
In response, Lee proposed adding $7.5 million in recurring funding and $1.8 million in one-time funding to the state budget to support the programs previously supported by Title X.
“The federal government decided to cut those funds off to Tennessee and what that did was it left women and children at risk that we wanted to serve,” Lee told reporters Tuesday.
Now, additional funds will be coming to the state through Planned Parenthood.
According to the organization, the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood received funding from the government through Title X that will go to patients in Tennessee through a partnership with Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi.
“Our governor jeopardized access to birth control, STI testing and treatment, and cancer screenings when he refused to comply with Title X requirements for unbiased patient information,” wrote Ashley Coffield, president & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi. “Direct grantees in Virginia and Mississippi will use these funds to ensure there are services in Tennessee and we look forward to working with Virginia League for Planned Parenthood as a subgrantee.”
While counseling must be an option, Title X funding can’t be used to pay for abortions, according to federal rules.
“This funding does not cover the cost of our navigation services or the money that we provide to patients to travel out of state for their travel needs…Our donors will continue to support those services,” Coffield said.