Daily Dispatches
A Planned Parenthood facility in Wichita, Kan.
Associated Press/Photo by Mike Hutmacher/The Wichita Eagle
A Planned Parenthood facility in Wichita, Kan.

Planned Parenthood backs out of fight over Kansas defunding law

Abortion

Planned Parenthood has dropped its suit against Kansas over a state law that puts it at the back of the line for federal family-planning funds.

The nation’s largest abortion provider, which operates three facilities in the state, filed suit in 2011, claiming the law unfairly targeted the centers. A district court judge sided with Planned Parenthood, granting a temporary injunction against the law, but the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the ruling, saying the state was within its rights to reallocate the funds. The appeals court sent the case back to the circuit court for further consideration.

Planned Parenthood dropped its challenge on Friday. But the organization vowed it would not stop fighting Kansas’ pro-life lawmakers.

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“Despite years of sustained attacks from Kansas politicians, Planned Parenthood will be here for the Kansans who rely on us and we will continue to fight for them—no matter what,” said Ron Ellifrits, interim CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, in a written statement. “We will explore every possible option to protect the health of Kansas women and families.”

Without naming the abortion provider, the Kansas law mandated preference for federal Title X funds be given to public health departments and hospitals, leaving nothing for Planned Parenthood. The Title X funds provide free or discounted birth control and health screenings to women with incomes up to 250 percent of the poverty level. Planned Parenthood receives about 25 percent of this funding nationwide. In 2012, the abortion provider cashed in $542 million in taxpayer funds, about 45 percent of its budget.

The two Planned Parenthood centers affected by the law, in Wichita and Hays, do not provide abortions. The third Planned Parenthood facility, in a Kansas City suburb, does not receive federal family planning funds but does provide abortions.

Kansas is one of 10 states that have tried to defund Planned Parenthood. A district court struck down Arizona’s law, which barred Planned Parenthood from receiving some Medicaid funds, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene. To avoid running afoul of the courts, Ohio and North Carolina followed Kansas’ lead, reallocating funds through their budgeting process.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Leigh Jones
Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Atlanta and is the managing editor of WORLD's website.

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