City of Plano reaches agreement to continue funding Turning Point rape crisis center's counseling program

Plano’s Turning Point rape crisis center appears set to continue receiving city funding for its counseling program after two council members raised concerns over the nonprofit’s supply of Plan B contraceptives.

Plano City Council on Aug. 17 directed the city staff to tweak how it pays for Turning Point’s counseling services. City Manager Mark Israelson said the staff would alter the wording of the contract before it presents the grant funding for final approval as part of this year’s budget on Sept. 9.

The city had previously sent roughly $50,000 a year to the nonprofit for the purpose of funding its counseling program. Now, in an effort to further separate the funding from Plan B contraception, that funding could be tied to specific counseling expenses the charity incurs.

Council members Anthony Ricciardelli and Shelby Williams, who praised the work of Turning Point even as they raised concerns over the use of Plan B contraceptives, said Aug. 17 they were satisfied by the change.

The concerns raised by Ricciardelli and Williams in recent weeks produced an outcry on social media. A group of Plano residents, Turning Point employees and victims of sexual assault showed up in large numbers this week to oppose efforts to remove funding from Turning Point.

More than 30 people on Aug. 12 spoke late into the night at a city budget hearing. More than 20 had signed up to speak Aug. 17 before the city announced its new contract language.

Plan B contraceptives, also known as emergency contraception or the “morning-after pill,” is taken after sex and reduces the odds that an egg will be fertilized. Ricciardelli and Williams, who are critics of abortion, questioned whether the use of the pill could also prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.
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By Daniel Houston

Daniel Houston covers Plano city government, transportation, business and education for Community Impact Newspaper. A Fort Worth native and Baylor University graduate, Daniel reported previously for The Associated Press in Oklahoma City and The Dallas Morning News.


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