Kansas Governor Sam Brownback today signed a bill that would ensure that no taxpayer dollars are going to fund the abortion industry.
Kansas Senate Bill 436 would prioritize Title X grants, which are taxpayer-funded, by awarding them to full-service public health clinics and hospitals first. Planned Parenthood, which often receives these grants from various states, would be pushed to the end of the list because it does not provide comprehensive health care and, essentially, defunded.
Gov. Sam Brownback vowed in his State of the State speech in January to make sure that “not a single dollar of taxpayer money goes to Planned Parenthood” through the Kansas Medicaid program.
But reimbursements continued. In early March, the state Department of Health and Environment said it was continuing to work on the termination of Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding “in accordance with the law.”
The termination letter came Tuesday from the department, Planned Parenthood officials said.
The letter from the state informing Planned Parenthood that it could no longer serve as provider under the state’s Medicaid program cited several reasons, including “noncompliance with applicable state laws” and “unethical or unprofessional conduct.” The organization has about a month to request a review of the decision.
The Planned Parenthood abortion company is vowing to fight the new law in court.
“This is not over,” it said. “Our doors are open today, they’ll be open tomorrow and we’ll fight this with everything we’ve got.”
The bill would make permanent a statute in the annual Kanasas budget that gives higher priority to comprehensive health care providers, according to Kansans for Life. The pro-life group wrote on its blog Tuesday:
Kansas’s right to prioritize full-service providers was upheld in 2014 by federal appellate court after Planned Parenthood sued the budget allotment —and lost.
In Kansas, federal Title X reproductive health funds go first to full-service facilities, including public health clinics, and public hospitals. The Kansas legislature has annually budgeted for this since 2011 (after 4 years of pro-abortion governor vetoes).
The point of SB 436 is to make permanent in statute what has been an annual budget item. On behalf of her 26 Senate co-sponsors, Sen. Caryn Tyson (R-Parker) was the bill carrier.
As she had attempted in committee, abortion supporter Sen. Marci Francisco (D-Lawrence) once again tried to amend SB 436 to create a new revenue stream for Planned Parenthood. The amendment failed.
Kansas first attempted to defund abortion businesses in 2007 with the Huelskamp-Kinzer amendment, which prioritized full-service public clinics and hospitals for Title X reproductive health services money, according to the pro-life group. The amendment failed until pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback took office in 2011 and approved it in the budget every year.
Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri (PPKMM) sued the Title X prioritization because they cannot provide the comprehensive care now required. During litigation, however, PPKMM continued to receive over a million dollars when Kansas was forced by an activist court to continue contracting with them.
The Kansas Attorney Generals’ office strongly defended the measure in federal district court, and on appeal. Dr. Robert Moser, then-KDHE Secretary who was named in the lawsuit, justified the state’s position, stating, “Title X was not intended to be an entitlement program for Planned Parenthood.”
The Title X prioritization of the Huelskamp-Kinzer amendment was finally upheld in a ruling from the federal Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in March 2014. After PPKMM’s loss, they dropped further appeals.
In the past year, a number of states have moved to defund Planned Parenthood after its employees were caught in a series of undercover videos attempting to sell aborted babies’ body parts.
ACTION: Thank Governor Sam Brownback here.