Kansas’ Catholic Governor Battles to Defund Planned Parenthood

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by David Nussman  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  March 23, 2018   

Under Gov. Jeff Colyer, state of Kansas petitions U.S. Supreme Court to hear case

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TOPEKA, Kansas (ChurchMilitant.com) - Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer wants to take his fight to defund Planned Parenthood all the way to the Supreme Court.

Last month, a federal appeals court upheld a ruling that the state of Kansas was wrong to try to strip Planned Parenthood of its Medicaid funding.

On Thursday, the state of Kansas petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.

Colyer is a Catholic and a surgeon. Responding to the February 21 ruling by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, Coyler said in a speech in February, "A Kansas court issued a ruling which argues the framers of the Kansas Constitution imagined abortion as a separate constitutional right. This is violence against basic facts. This cannot stand. We are a pro-life state."

The governor stated in a recent press release, "Kansas is a pro-life state, and Kansans don't want state dollars being used to support abortion providers."

The case dates back to 2016. Then-governor Sam Brownback moved to end Planned Parenthood's Medicaid funding. Planned Parenthood challenged the policy, and a court ruled against the state of Kansas and in favor of Planned Parenthood. (Brownback is now the U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.)

Other states have tried to block Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood. The movement to defund Planned Parenthood began with some undercover videos by the pro-life Center for Medical Progress, exposing the illicit sales of aborted babies' body parts.

In January 2018, the Trump administration rescinded an Obama-era guidance that made it difficult for states to take away Planned Parenthood's Medicaid funding. The Obama administration had issued the guidance in 2016.

Charmaine Yoest, assistant Health and Human Services secretary for public affairs, told reporters at the time, "This is part of the Trump administration's effort to roll back regulations the Obama administration put out to radically favor abortion."

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, called this move by the Trump administration "an important step toward getting American taxpayers out of funding the abortion industry, especially Planned Parenthood."

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