“For over 35 years Planned Parenthood of Greater Memphis (PPGMR) has served the people of Shelby County by providing comprehensive Family Planning Services to families in need. Despite their expertise and years of dedicated service to the community, politics has once again invaded the issue of reproductive health, endangering the future of thousands of people who have come to rely on their services.”
“Starting in February with Republicans in the State Legislature, and continuing with political pressure from Governor Bill Haslam’s Office, the County Administration of Mayor Mark Luttrell and County Commission, Republicans have declared war on Planned Parenthood in a misguided crusade against a procedure not even covered by Title X funds.”
“Ignoring evidence and the requirements of their very own RFP regarding personnel, Mayor Luttrell’s Administration engaged in a bid evaluation process determined to ensure that no Title X funds would flow to the most experienced provider of said services for a purely partisan political purpose.”
“Adding insult to injury, the County Commission, including three Democratic members, voted to affirm the contract with Christ Community Health Services (CCHS), despite mountains of evidence found both in the response to the RFP and public statements made by high ranking officials in the organization that they were either unprepared or unwilling to abide by all the requirements of Title X. This outcome is unacceptable.”
“This week marks the beginning of the contract with CCHS. We hope they will abide by the terms of the contract to the same high standards set by PPGMR, but we are also outraged that our government officials, from the State down to the County level would place the people of this county in a position of relying on hope alone rather than evidence and experience.”
“The stakes of this decision are high. Taking into account the rate of teen sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, infant mortality, and high poverty rates associated with unplanned pregnancies, we feel this decision is irresponsible, tone deaf and reckless considering the challenges facing our community.”
References– Page 15 of County RFP# 12-007-02 states: “Provider’s Personnel. The Provider certifies that it presently has adequate qualified personnel to perform all services required under this Contract…
Page 13 and 14 of CCHS’s proposal notes that it will have to hire 7 people to carry out the contract including 1- Women’s Health Services Director and 6 – Family Planning Coordinators.