Judge Bars Kan. from Cutting Family Planning Funds
A federal court has again barred Kansas from taking federal family planning funds away from two Planned Parenthood clinics. The move by US District Judge J. Thomas Marten, announced on June 29, extends his preliminary injunction issued a year ago.
Kansas law requires the state to first allocate federal family planning funds to public health departments and hospitals, leaving no money for specialty clinics. The Legislature re-enacted the restrictions on Title X funding this year. Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, which operates clinics in Wichita and Hays, and the Dodge City Family Planning Clinic (DCFPC) amended their original complaint to account for the fiscal year 2012-13 restrictions, alleging they are the same as previous legislation being disputed.
The clinics and Kansas both incorporated their previous arguments in the amended filings to help fast-track the appeals process. The new decision expedites the dispute to the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals.
Last year, Marten ruled the law intended to punish Planned Parenthood for its abortion-rights advocacy by infringing on the Constitutional rights of association. The additional burdens on the federally funded program also would violate the Supremacy Clause, he said. No Title X funds are used for abortions; the Planned Parenthood clinics in the suit and DCFPC do not provide them. The only Planned Parenthood clinic in Kansas that offers abortion services is in Overland.
The state claims that other organizations could provide the same services offered by the Wichita and Hays clinics, and that the injunction unconstitutionally replaces the state’s discretion with the court’s judgment.
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