Topeka—Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri today responded to the long-awaited end of the 2015 Kansas legislative session. Legislators spent precious time focusing on limiting women’s ability to access health care, while failing to protect their constituents’ economic well-being. Unfortunately for Kansans, this focus on the wrong priorities during the first 90 days of Session will have untold costs aside from $1 million in taxpayer-funded “overtime” pay.
Said Planned Parenthood President and CEO Laura McQuade, “As a trusted provider of health care to thousands of Kansans, Planned Parenthood knows first-hand how access to health insurance enables people to lead healthier and improved lives. It’s a travesty the Legislature is refusing billions in federal funding for Medicaid, especially given Kansas’ status as the only state with an increased number of uninsured citizens in 2014. The Legislature’s inaction leaves over 150,000 Kansans, including roughly 67,000 women, without access to the basic health care everyone needs and deserves.”
Planned Parenthood acknowledged the Legislature’s recognition of the importance of sex education to their constituents as they declined to pass two proposed restrictions on sex education, Senate Bill 56 and House Bill 2199. “We’re encouraged the Legislature failed to move restrictions on sex education that would have criminalized teachers and left our most vulnerable young people without the tools and resources they need to be healthy,” McQuade continued.
Finally, Planned Parenthood condemned the Legislature’s passage of Senate Bill 95, the first bill of its kind in the nation, which bars doctors from providing the safest method of second trimester abortion.
“Rather than focusing on critical economic policies, lawmakers instead wasted time undermining Kansans’ health by restricting abortion access. I’m deeply disappointed in the Legislature for practicing medicine without a license and putting women in harm’s way. The fight against Senate Bill 95 is far from over, and we’ll continue to pursue every option to protect Kansas women from this dangerous bill,” McQuade said.
“Planned Parenthood will continue to fight for the health and sex education needs of Kansas women and young people. We will expose all extreme political measures aimed at denying access to health care and at undermining women’s decision-making ability. And, as always, we will be here to provide high quality health care to Kansas women and families.”
Planned Parenthood is a vital resource for our community and for women and families throughout Kansas and Missouri. We are a trusted advocate and source of health care and education for thousands of women, men, and children. For 80 years, women have relied on Planned Parenthood to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy.
Sheila Kostas, 913.345.4635
Elise Higgins, 913.345.4628
June 12, 2015