Kansans For Life’s response to Parkinson’s veto of provision blocking funds for Planned Parenthood

TOPEKA – Below is a written response by Kansans For Life Executive Director Mary Kay Culp.

Gov. Mark Parkinson, a Democrat, on Friday line-item vetoed from the wrap-up budget bill a provision aimed at blocking Planned Parenthood from receiving money for family planning services.

The money, a federal grant disseminated by the state, cannot be used for abortion services and helps fund Planned Parenthood’s clinics in Hays and Wichita.

Below is the response:

“Any hopes that Governor Parkinson was better than Sebelius on life issues just flew out the window with this veto in which he gives Planned Parenthood priority over public health clinics without him even having the guts to mention the nation’s single largest abortion provider, by name.

The Governor purposely gave the wrong impression when saying the budget went against the rules. This budget didn’t ban Planned Parenthood from getting one dime–they would remain on the list to receive funds. It simply re-prioritized the order of which entities got funds first.

When a private organization like Planned Parenthood gets tax dollars it frees up their private funds to pay lobbyists to troll for more tax funds, not to mention lobby against state abortion regulations. And even if the money goes to their clinics that don’t do abortions, again, it frees up the private money they have available for their clinics that do. In addition, even those clinics that don’t do abortions, refer for them.

By the Governor putting Planned Parenthood at the top, rather than the bottom of the list, he is saying he doesn’t care that they perform abortions, doesn’t care that they lobby to keep all abortions, even partial-birth abortions, legal, and doesn’t care that they are in trouble across the country for breaking state laws, including our own. But his veto does likely show that like Sebelius, Governor Parkinson appreciates that, unlike public health clinics, Planned Parenthood has a political arm that works to influence elections. .

There is no reason to give Planned Parenthood tax funding priority when the same services can be provided just as easily, and much less politically, by our public health clinics.”

Governor vetoes provision blocking funds to Planned Parenthood

TOPEKA – Gov. Mark Parkinson excised a provision in the state’s wrap up budget that would have prevented Planned Parenthood from receiving money for non-abortion family planning services.

He approved the remaining majority of the Senate substitute House Bill 2373.

Planned Parenthood last year received about $300,000 of the money, which are federal funds that the state administers.

“Regardless of one’s views on whether abortion should be allowed in this country, hopefully we can all agree that we should make every effort to prevent unplanned pregnancies,” wrote the governor in his veto message. “Access to affordable family planning services and contraceptives is critical if we are to continue reducing the number of abortions that occur in this state.”

State Sen. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, inserted the provision into the omnibus budget bill during the Legislature’s wrap-up session earlier this month. Both chambers passed the bill including the provision.

While the money cannot be used for abortions, Huelskamp proposed blocking the funds because the Planned Parenthood does offer abortion services, he said in a release when the budget bill passed.

Parkinson, a Democrat, noted in his veto message that the group was eligible under the federal grant to receive the money, so the state could not block the funds.

For more details on the veto and the budget, read Saturday’s Wichita Eagle.

Below is the full veto message from Parkinson:

Section 89 has been line-item vetoed in its entirety:

“Regardless of one’s views on whether abortion should be allowed in this country, hopefully we can all agree that we should make every effort to prevent unplanned pregnancies. Access to affordable family planning services and contraceptives is critical if we are to continue reducing the number of abortions that occur in this state.

“This section would prohibit distribution of Title X moneys to private family planning providers unless they are either a hospital or provide comprehensive primary and preventative care in addition to family planning services. This proviso would prevent funding for two facilities of other eligible family planning providers. These facilities do not perform abortions, and by law, Title X funding cannot be used for abortion services.

“Both of these facilities provide affordable access to contraceptives and family planning services for women who are significantly below the poverty level. These women are most at risk for unplanned pregnancies. The family planning services provided by these facilities help lower the likelihood of unplanned pregnancy, and thus reduce abortions. Eliminating funding for programs intended to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies does nothing to help reduce abortions in Kansas.

“I am also concerned this proviso violates Title X of the Public Service Act. The facilities ineligible for funding under this proviso are, by law, eligible under Title X to receive the grants. The Public Service Act is clear that states are not permitted to refuse the award of Title X funding to entities that meet the statutory requirements for the grants. I therefore find it necessary to line-item veto this proviso.”

Abortion veto override vote fails in the Senate

TOPEKA – An attempt to override the veto of a late-term abortion bill failed Thursday evening in the Senate.

The proposal, House substitute for Senate Bill 218, would have allowed women and their immediate family to sue doctors in civil court if they thought a late term abortion was performed illegally.

With a vote of 25-13, the measure did not receive the two-thirds majority of votes needed to override a veto.

The change to the law regulating abortions on pregnancies after the 21st week gave women a recourse if they thought the law had been broken if the district or county attorney in their area would not file the suit, said Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook, R-Shawnee, who made the motion.

The bill also would have required doctors performing late-term abortions to provide more detailed descriptions of why the procedures were necessary. The move was aimed at Wichita abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, one of the few physicians in the country who performs late-term abortions.

The veto was one of former Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ last actions before she stepped down to become Health and Human Services secretary.

The override attempt taken at about 7 p.m., one the chamber’s last action before leaving for the night. The bill is now dead.

Kansas Gov. Sebelius vetoes late-term abortion law

TOPEKA – The governor vetoed a bill that would have require doctors to give more detailed justification for a late-term abortion on forms sent to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Explaining the veto Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, said the House substitute for Senate Bill 218, included provisions that might be unconstitutional.

She singled out a provision that would allow a woman or immediate relatives to sue an abortion provider they suspected of violating the state’s abortion law. The provision also allows a district or county attorney or the Attorney General to bring criminal violations against a doctor.

“The provisions in this bill that would allow for the criminal prosecution of a physician intending to comply with the law will lead to the intimidation of health care providers and reduce access to comprehensive health care for women, even when it is necessary to preserve their lives and health,” she wrote. “While I agree that we should try to reduce the number of abortions, it cannot be at the increased risk to the life or health of women.”

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee approved the governor’s nomination as health secretary sending the matter to the full Senate where its stalled.

Abortion opponents have raised concerns about Sebelius’ strong pro choice track record and her ties to Wichita late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.