PLANO, Texas — Plano City Council is debating whether to cut funding to the only rape crisis center in Collin County.
The Turning Point receives roughly $57,000 in grant money from the city of Plano every year. The money is intended for counseling for sexual assault survivors.
However, starting last year, some Plano city council members raised concerns about the clinic’s use of emergency contraceptives, including Plan B.
“At the time I think, they had some misguided notion that we were (performing) abortions or were an affiliate of an abortion center, and so clearly, we are not either of those things. It actually goes against our mission,” The Turning Point executive director Wendy Hanna said. “We do not perform abortions, and we would not recommend abortions."
Plano Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Ricciardelli brought this subject up at the end of their August 1st meeting.
“As I talked about last year, my convictions on this issue have not changed," he said during the meeting. "My conscience will not permit me to support giving funding to any organization that disseminates the Plan B pill because in some circumstances, the Plan B pill destroys a human life.”
In an interview with WFAA, Hanna said that Plan B does not destroy a human life. “(Plan B) does not abort an already fertilized egg, or does not disallow an already fertilized egg to implant,” Hanna said.
During the Aug. 1 meeting, Ricciardelli said that it does.
"The Plan B pill can work in two ways: The first is that it can prevent fertilization, in which case no life has been created. The second way that it works is to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg after a life has been created, and in that second way, it kills an unborn child,” Ricciardelli said.
In addition to counseling, The Turning Point has advocates who talk to sexual assault survivors about options moving forward.
All of their services, including the administration of Plan B, are free.
The Turning Point was founded in 1982. They opened the clinic inside their building on Silverstone Drive in 2017.
Hanna said all of the grant money is spent on counseling. She said last year’s grant money was audited, and there were no issues.
“My view is that even if funds are only used for certain purposes, by paying for one thing, we free up funds that would’ve paid for that thing to be used for the Plan B pills instead,” Ricciardelli said.
According to Hanna, The Turning Point saw about 300 rape cases in Collin County in 2018. This year, they’re on par to see over 350. She took issue with Ricciardelli's statement.
“You can’t speak for a woman who’s been assaulted,” Hanna said. “And you should not.”
City Council will be discussing this issue at a meeting this Saturday, August 17 starting at 8 a.m.
Residents can voice their opinion about any issues on the budget during the public city council meeting Monday night.