A resolution for allocations of funds to outside agencies was voted down at the Monday meeting of the Clinton County Board of Supervisors, due to a proposed amount for Women’s Health Services.
The board had discussed whether to give funds to Women’s Health Services during budget workshops earlier in the year. Supervisors Jill Davisson and Brian Schmidt were contacted by residents who were not in favor of the county spending tax money for Women’s Health Services. The organization provides various services for women in the area. Because it does receive federal funding, those working at Women’s Health Services are required to refer women on where to go for an abortion, if asked.
Davisson said while she does feel the organization does wonderful things for the community, she is uncomfortable with using tax money to fund a group that refers and counsels people on abortions. Schmidt feels that they as board members must represent the taxpayers and he thinks many of the taxpayers are against abortion.
Davisson contacted a Right to Life office about the group’s opinion on the county giving funding to Women’s Health Services. She was told the group would be fine with the funding if it was only used for women’s health and infant care. Davisson said even if the money was earmarked for certain services, it would simply be freeing up funds for the other services.
Chairman John Staszewski sees no problem with allocating funds to Women’s Health Services. He pointed out that the organization is required to provide the counseling and abortion referrals due to its federal funding. He felt they are penalizing the organization for something it has to do.
Despite discussions which occurred during budget workshops, the board never officially voted on the matter. Davisson said Monday that it was an oversight that they did not take formal action or give formal direction, causing the item to make it into the budget. The resolution presented Monday had an allocation of $5,000 to the organization.
Schmidt and Davisson voted against approving the list of funding allocations with Women’s Health Services. Staszewski voted in favor of the resolution for the funding allocations. A new resolution without the Women’s Health Services amount will be prepared for next week’s meeting. Davisson encouraged anyone with an opinion on the issue to contact the board members this week.