Planned Parenthood Urges Governor Brownback to Use Line-Item Veto to Protect Women’s Health



Sarah Gillooly, 913.334.8288
Sheila Kostas, 913.312.5100 x246

Published: 05.21.12| Updated: 05.21.12

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri sent a letter to Governor Sam Brownback today urging him to use a line-item veto to protect the health of low-income Kansas women in the 2013 Kansas budget.

The 2013 budget, H Sub SB 294, passed by the Legislature last night and sent to Brownback’s desk, contains a provision to make Planned Parenthood ineligible for federal family planning funding to provide affordable birth control, life-saving cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment for low-income patients. It is identical to one passed last year which has been enjoined. 

Each year, Planned Parenthood serves more than 5,700 different individuals through the Title X program in Kansas, providing more than 3,000 pap tests and 3,000 breast exams, 9,000 birth control visits, and 18,000 STD tests. Family planning health care visits are the only health care many low-income Kansans receive.  Not only do these programs have a successful track record and strong public support, they save money—every $1 spent on family planning services in Kansas saves the State $6.14 in Medicaid-related costs. 

In August, the U.S. District Court of Kansas enjoined enforcement of the 2012 provision, ruling Planned Parenthood is likely to prevail on its claim the defunding provision is unconstitutional, which resulted in the state continuing to fund Planned Parenthood under the Title X program. Despite the injunction, the legislature remains determined to keep birth control and basic health care out of reach for low-income Kansas women.

“Members of the legislature are determined to deny women access to basic, preventive health care,” said Peter Brownlie, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. “The state is paying exorbitant sums of taxpayer money to hire expensive, private attorneys to defend the unconstitutional budget amendment passed in 2011, and some members of the legislature are determined to advance their unconstitutional agenda again in 2012.”

“These unconstitutional provisions deny health care to thousands of low-income Kansans and cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars. Public funding of family planning services, however, is an investment in affordable, preventive health care a cost savings,” continued Brownlie.  “I urge Governor Brownback to make the sensible and responsible decision.  The budget should not reflect the narrow political agenda of a few. Rather, the budget should reflect Kansas values and a commitment to the health of low-income families by supporting basic, preventive, cost-saving health care for low-income Kansans.” 

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