(WMC-TV) - Shelby County Commissioners on Monday redirected family planning funds that were previously designated to Planned Parenthood to Christ Community Health Center.
The 9 to 4 vote in favor of directing funds to CCHC came after strong debate in Monday's Shelby County Commission meeting.
Abortion was clearly the underlying issue in this debate, and supporters of Planned Parenthood showed up in droves.
CCHC, a Christian-affiliated organization, does not provide abortions. Planned Parenthood does perform abortions, and expressed interest in the contract as well.
"You know, you want to label me a religious terrorist, but that's fine - as long as I please God it doesn't matter who I displease," Commissioner Terry Roland said.
Roland was in the majority who voted against Planned Parenthood, and referred to the many e-mail messages he's received from supporters.
Before their vote, commissioners heard from a number of people on both sides of the debate.
"When I need sexual services, I don't want to go to a place where I'm judged for my needs," said Mary Phillips, a Planned Parenthood supporter.
"For me, my family, we don't want our tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood and the killing of children," said Jeff Drzycimski, a Planned Parenthood opponent.
Officials with Christ Community said they offer counseling to women with positive pregnancy tests, but do not direct them to abortion providers.
Commissioners voting against awarding the contract to Christ Community Health Services were Brooks, Burgess, Bailey, and Chism.
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