“...they are willing to decimate women’s access to preventive care.”
Washington, D.C. – Planned Parenthood today filed suit in Kansas federal district court to stop Governor Brownback’s illegal attempt to block Medicaid patients from accessing birth control, reproductive health screenings, and other preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers. This comes less than 24 hours after the Brownback administration issued notice that it would end Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid contracts effective May 10. For a copy of the filed complaint and request for temporary relief, please click here.
Kansas marks the latest in an unprecedented wave of attacks on care at Planned Parenthood. Since July, politicians in at least 24 states have threatened care at Planned Parenthood health centers. According to the Congressional Budget Office, if patients who rely on public health programs are blocked from coming to Planned Parenthood, up to 650,000 people would face decreased access to health care in just a one-year period. Last month, the Obama Administration issued guidance to lawmakers in all fifty states reiterating that recent politically motivated efforts to block Planned Parenthood patients from accessing care through Medicaid violate long-standing federal law.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“In recent months, these attacks on our patients have gone from a simmer to a full roiling boil. This is targeting access to lifesaving care based on politics and a fake video campaign that landed its maker with a felony indictment. Everyone deserves access to high-quality health care, no matter who you are or where you live. We will not stand for it, and Planned Parenthood will fight for our patients at every turn. ”
Statement from Laura McQuade, CEO of Planned Parenthood Kansas and Mid-Missouri:
“This is not over. Our doors are open today, they’ll be open tomorrow, and we’ll fight this with everything we’ve got. Governor Brownback has made it clear he doesn’t care about the health and well-being of our patients. He’s using health care as a political football, and it’s Kansans who will pay the price if he’s not stopped. ”
Statement from Mary M. Kogut, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri:
“Every person deserves quality health care and the ability to choose their own provider. For thousands of women and men, their provider is Planned Parenthood. For decades, we have provided high quality health care for Medicaid recipients, and continuing to meet the needs of all our patients is a top priority. Our promise is to continue caring for our community. Our doors stay open.”
Blocking care at Planned Parenthood has very real and devastating consequences for the communities served. After Scott County, Indiana, forced the local Planned Parenthood health center to shut its doors in 2013, the community was left with nowhere to turn for HIV testing and education. Now the county is facing an unprecedented HIV outbreak, which Governor Mike Pence deemed an “epidemic.” In Texas, a recent study in theNew England Journal of Medicine shows that defunding Planned Parenthood led to a 35% decline in women on Medicaid using the most effective methods of birth control and a dramatic 27% spike in births among women who had previously had access to injectable contraception.
Planned Parenthood serves thousands of Kansans each year. Planned Parenthood health centers serve an outsized role in meeting the health care needs for those who rely on federally funded health programs. In Johnson County, the Planned Parenthood served 35% of the women in need of affordable contraception at publicly funded family planning health centers. More than half of Planned Parenthood's health centers across the U.S. are in rural or medically underserved areas, meaning that often without Planned Parenthood, patients would have nowhere else to turn for reproductive health care.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
May 04, 2016