A federal appeals court said Kansas cannot defund the abortion chain Planned Parenthood, despite an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into its aborted baby body parts trade.
The AP reports the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the state Wednesday, keeping a block on the Medicaid defunding measure in place.
Kansas and the abortion chain have been battling over taxpayer funding in court for many years.
In 2016, lawmakers passed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood after undercover videos exposed potentially illegal sales of aborted baby body parts by the abortion chain. The state also made the abortion chain ineligible for Title X taxpayer dollars in 2011 and redirected funds to hospitals and full-service health clinics.
A court ruled against the state in 2016, and the appeals court agreed this week.
Here’s more from KOAM TV:
The decision applies to Kansas’ Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood of Great Plains, which has two health centers in Kansas and three in Missouri.
However, the appeals panel sent back to the lower court a related injunction involving the state’s effort to terminate its contract with Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, which serves some Kansas patients at its Joplin, Missouri, clinic.
Refusing to accept defeat, Gov. Jeff Colyer’s spokesman, Kendall Marr, said they are considering future legal action.
“We will continue the fight for life,” Marr said.
Planned Parenthood Great Plains described the ruling as a “huge win” in a statement this week. It also claimed the state’s actions were “baseless and politically motivated.”
However, pro-life advocates said the state should be allowed to defund a group under investigation for illegal activity.
Kansans for Life previously said: “We oppose any public money that helps the abortion giant Planned Parenthood stay open. Planned Parenthood is not the trusted health-care provider they like to call themselves –everything they do is poisoned by their abortion business and advocacy.”
In early December, news broke that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating allegations that Planned Parenthood illegally profited from the sales of aborted baby body parts.
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion group in America, destroying about 320,000 unborn babies’ lives every year.