Kansas is no longer obligated to lend federal funds to its two Planned Parenthood clinics in the state.
According to sources, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten’s ruling that had Title X mandate funds to family planning clinics, like Planned Parenthood, after first giving them to hospitals. This means that most funds would be unavailable, since most of the money would be given to hospitals anyway. Judge Marten kept this mandate from being enforced before the Court of Appeals overturned his ruling. Many supporters believed the latest overturn is “meant to penalize the organization for its abortion rights advocacy,” though abortion only makes up 3 percent of its services.
U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten blocked enforcement of the law, stating in his decision that “the purpose of the statute was to single out, punish and exclude Planned Parenthood.” Accordingly, he ordered that Kansas continue funding Planned Parenthood until the case was resolved. But yesterday, sadly, the conservative lunacy resumed: the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Marten’s ruling, declaring that Kansas can halt its funding of the organization until the lower courts reach a decision.
Planned Parenthood in Kansas originally used the money they would get from Title X to give “over 9,000 women, as well as more than 2,800 cancer screenings and 8,000 STD tests.” But, the clinic promises to provide support to all the men and women who need its services.
“Regardless of what happens in the courts, Planned Parenthood will be here for the women and men who rely on us and we will continue to fight for them — no matter what,” said Planned Parenthood Action Fund president Cecile Richards in a statement. “We will explore every possible option to protect the health of women in Kansas.”
We hope that Planned Parenthood will stay a fixture in Kansas and nationwide, for that matter. The historic clinic that was first established in 1916 has only had one black president to date Faye Wattleton, who served from 1978 to 1992, but Planned Parenthood has been trying to reach more communities of color recently. They hosted an event last December with BET President Debra Lee, producer Crystal McCrary, CBS medical expert Dr. Holly Phillips and other Black influencers to talk about Planned Parenthood’s future.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards…told The Root, “Women of color are leading in so many ways, and I felt it was really important to gather a group of women who have been successful in banking, media and politics, just ideas for how we can use our power to push for the issues we care about. Planned Parenthood is one of those issues.”