Paul  Kengor

With a critical vote in its state Senate, North Carolina has voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Republicans hold a huge majority in the Senate—meaning, as a Republican majority usually does, that the Senate is pro-life. The governor of the state, Bev Perdue, is a Democrat—meaning, as a Democrat chief executive usually does, that the governor is “pro-choice,” and favors funding Planned Parenthood. Enough Republicans exist in the legislature to over-ride Perdue’s veto.

Prior to this vote, North Carolina infused Planned Parenthood with $434,000 annually, directed at state “family-planning programs.” That money was to go to “non-abortion services;” that is, “non-abortion services” by the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Most significant, North Carolina’s action signals a potential trend among states. It is the third state to vote to de-fund Planned Parenthood, following measures by legislatures in Indiana and Kansas, where the governors are Republicans and supportive. In Kansas, the governor is the solidly pro-life Sam Brownback, a gigantic change from Governor Kathleen Sebelius, who is now President Obama’s point-person to revamp America’s healthcare system. In Indiana, the governor is Mitch Daniels.

In all three states, North Carolina, Kansas, and Indiana, we see yet again how the Republican Party has become the pro-life party and the Democratic Party—the party of my family’s roots—has continued in the opposite direction.

The next key thing to watch is how the Obama administration reacts to North Carolina. In recent weeks, the Obama administration moved to deny Indiana’s de-funding of Planned Parenthood. Indiana sought to remove the millions of dollars in subsidies Planned Parenthood received in federal funds (via the Indiana government) through Medicaid. The Obama administration told Indiana that it can’t do that, arguing that federal Medicaid law prohibits states from barring certain “health” providers “because of a provider’s scope of practice.”

That said, here’s the big picture:

It’s critical to comprehend the Obama administration’s position. It needs to be understood. It represents not merely a policy or partisan divide but an ideological chasm over the very function of government and balance of powers.