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Judge Restores Patient Access to Planned Parenthood: Statement from Peter Brownlie, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri
Wichita, KS – Today, U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten issued a preliminary injunction from the bench in Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri’s (PPKM) case against Governor Sam Brownback and the state of Kansas as it seeks to prevent the enforcement of the Title X family planning defunding amendment passed in the Kansas budget during the 2011 legislative session. For more than 25 years, PPKM has been an integral part of the federal family planning program – Title X – providing lifesaving cancer screenings, breast exams, birth control and basic family planning to low-income and uninsured Kansas women, men and teens. The state was ordered to restore funding retroactive to July 1.
“We’re very grateful that the Court issued a preliminary injunction of the defunding budget provision, allowing thousands of women and families across our state to continue to receive low-cost and vital services from Planned Parenthood.
“The Court issued a strong ruling that Planned Parenthood is likely to prevail on all our arguments and ordered the state to continue funding Planned Parenthood under the Title X program, effective July 1st of this year, until a final decision is reached on the merits of the case.
“Judge Marten affirmed what we already knew, and what our arguments and evidence made clear: this budget amendment is contrary to federal law, violates the constitutional rights of PPKM and our patients, unconstitutionally penalizes Planned Parenthood, and has the effect of restricting Kansans’ access to health care.
“Ensuring every patient continues to receive affordable family planning services and basic preventive health care, without long-term interruption, remains our primary concern. We’re pleased today’s decision allows us to honor that commitment at least while this lawsuit proceeds.”
PPKM argued that the defunding amendment, which was purposely designed to make Planned Parenthood ineligible to continue to receive federal Title X family planning funds in Kansas, violates federal law and the constitutional rights of PPKM and its patients. PPKM’s legal briefs, filed last month, show a deliberate effort by lawmakers and the governor to strip Planned Parenthood of funding, including a statement by Gov. Sam Brownback to the state GOP caucus where he boasted that Kansas would “zero out funding of Planned Parenthood.”
PPKM is being represented by Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) as well as attorneys from Arnold & Porter LLP and Wichita-based lawyer, Lee Thompson, in the lawsuit against the state. Media reports have confirmed that the state of Kansas is being represented by private attorneys at taxpayer expense.
Each year, as the state’s largest and most qualified reproductive health care provider, Planned Parenthood serves more than 5,700 different individuals through the Title X program in Kansas, providing more than 3,000 Pap tests, 3,000 breast exams, 9,000 birth control visits, and 18,000 STD tests. The defunding amendment unfairly punishes low-income and uninsured women, men and teens by eliminating their ability to access their provider of choice.