Kansas OKs Bill De-Funding Planned Parenthood, Hits Abortion

State   Steven Ertelt   May 13, 2011   |   11:27AM    Topeka, KS

Kansas lawmakers have put the finishing touches on a bill that would shift funding away from the Planned Parenthood abortion business and stops abortion funding in health insurance programs.

The legislation, which pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback is expected to sign soon, follows a new law in Indiana that made the state the first to yank millions from Planned Parenthood by cutting off its revenue stream from Medicaid. The Senate passed the measure Thursday night on a 28-10 vote and the state House followed suit with an 86-30 vote Friday morning.

The insurance portion of the legislation prohibits private health insurance companies from forcing enrollees to pay for abortions and it makes those who want to potentially have abortion coverage pay for an insurance rider. On Planned Parenthood, the measure has the state budget directing over $300,000  in Title 10 money to local full-service health clinics instead of Planed Parenthood and it places $300,000 into the Stan Clark grant-matched fund for pregnancy support and adoption counseling.

Kathy Ostrowski, the Kansans for Life legislative director, says this measure and other bills the legislature approved that Brownback signed into law make it one of the most effective legislative sessions ever for Kansas and one that will likely result in reducing abortions further in the Sunflower State.

“It has obviously been a good session; long-needed bills were passed to correct fraudulent abortion reporting, and protect women from dangerous abortion clinics that have acted above the law,” she told LifeNews. “We have established a beachhead of protection for the developing unborn child based on accurate medical knowledge about the human capacity to feel pain and responded to the public’s ever-growing revulsion to direct and indirect funding of abortion businesses.”

“There is still serious education to be done, to show how harmful abortion is to women’s health and to dispel the assumption that abortion is the answer to pregnancy from assault; but the fact that 73 crisis pregnancy centers continue to selflessly offer care and assistance to pregnant women across Kansas shows that our state is heading in the right direction,” she said.

When the bill becomes law, the health insurance provisions will begin in July and the provisions also make it so no state or federally administered health-insurance exchange in Kansas that is established under Obamacare can fund abortions at taxpayer expense. That has Kansas following several other states in exercising their right to opt out of abortion funding in the Obamacare law, which has numerous loopholes allowing it.

“This bill includes very crucial pro-life language,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lance Kinzer, an Olathe Republican, in a AP report. “I would view this as an important conscience protection for Kansas business owners.”

“The fundamental issue here is not — although I wish it were — the ability to further limit legal access to abortion, but rather who pays,” Kinzer said

Sen. David Haley, a Kansas City Democrat who supports abortion, opposed the vote as did other Democrats and Peter Brownlie, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.