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Planned Parenthood Challenges Requirement that it Publicly Endorse State’s Anti-Abortion Ideology

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts

Sheila Kostas, 913.312.5100 x246
Elise Higgins, 913.312.5100 x225


Published: 06.20.13| Updated: 06.20.13

Overreaching Law Undermines Doctor-Patient Relationship, 
Threatens Freedom of Speech for All Kansans 

Overland Park, KS—Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri (CHPPKM) is challenging an intrusive Kansas law that violates freedom of speech by requiring abortion providers to endorse Governor Brownback’s views on abortion and provide misleading and irrelevant information to their patients.  Represented by attorneys from Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Kansas City law firm Arthur Benson and Associates, CHPPKM filed suit today to prevent the enforcement of portions of House Bill 2253, the sweeping 72-page overhaul of the state’s abortion restriction laws, stating that the challenged provisions of the law violate its First Amendment rights. 

“We are in court to fight this overreaching law that violates our freedom of speech, and undermines a woman’s ability to trust her doctor,” said Peter Brownlie, President and CEO of PPKM.  “For government officials to force individuals and organizations to publically endorse the state’s views violates the fundamental principles on which our country is founded.  Governor Brownback’s attempt to again inject politics into the relationship between a woman and her doctor will not stand.”

Under the dangerous and demeaning Kansas law, abortion providers would be required to post a link on their website homepage to a government site that contains the government’s viewpoint on abortion, and also post a scripted endorsement of the content on the government’s website.  Further, CHPPKM would be required to make statements to women seeking an abortion implying that a fetus can feel pain as early as 20 weeks from fertilization.  In addition to being misleading, this mandate is completely irrelevant to CHPPKM's patients, virtually all of whom seek abortions well before that point in pregnancy. 

Kansas has already spent nearly $759,000 in taxpayer money since 2011 to defend similar overreaching laws.  At a time when vital state services are being slashed, Brownback’s dangerous agenda to restrict safe and legal abortion could push state spending on intrusive anti-abortion bills over the $1 million mark. Kansans did not elect their political leaders to spend public money on abortion politics, but Governor Brownback and his allies continue to pursue their own ideological and unconstitutional agenda against Planned Parenthood and other trusted health care providers.

“It’s disappointing Governor Brownback and his allies in the legislature continue to waste time and taxpayer money on these misguided laws. If they were serious about reducing abortion, they would focus on supporting Planned Parenthood and other family planning agencies in their efforts to reduce unintended pregnancy,” said Brownlie. “Instead, Governor Brownback and the Legislature chose the path of expensive and unnecessary litigation for Kansas for the third year in a row, wasting taxpayer money—something that could have been avoided if he and the Legislature had done what they were elected to do: focus on jobs, the economy and state services.”

 
 
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