Kansas: Brownback Signs Bill De-Funding Planned Parenthood

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 27, 2011   |   12:23PM   |   Topeka, KS

Governor Sam Brownback, on Wednesday, signed into law a bill that would shift funding away from the Planned Parenthood abortion business and stops abortion funding in health insurance programs.

The legislation 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 Kansas Senate passed the measure on a 28-10 vote and the state House followed suit with an 86-30 vote.

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. It also ensures abortions can’t be paid for with taxpayer dollars through the state exchanges set up under the federal Obamacare health care law.

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.

But abortion advocates are not happy with the decision because the insurance portion of the bill prohibits insurance companies from making enrollees pay for abortions for other insured people unless the abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother. Amber Versola, lobbyist for Kansas NOW, told the Lawrence Journal World that is wrong because it excludes women getting abortions in cases of rape or incest.

“This attack on women’s rights has to stop,” she claimed. “Women cannot plan to be victims of rape and incest.”

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

ACTION: Thank Governor Brownback at https://governor.ks.gov/