Monday, August 1, 2011

A Bit of Good News

In Kansas, U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten has ordered the state to immediately resume funding for Planned Parenthood:
WICHITA, Kan. -- A federal judge on Monday blocked implementation of a new Kansas law that would strip federal family planning funding from the state's Planned Parenthood chapter, dealing Republican lawmakers their second major legal setback to their recent moves against abortion providers.


Planned Parenthood said it would be forced to close its clinic in the western Kansas city of Hays unless the court immediately prohibited the state from stripping it of $330,000 in federal Title X annual funding. It contended that its 5,700 patients would also face higher costs and have less access to services and longer wait or travel times for appointments.


Monday's hearing was the first legal test of the statute. Planned Parenthood is challenging its constitutionality based on the Supremacy Clause, which prohibits states from imposing conditions of eligibility on federal programs that are not required by federal law.

Kansas has defended the statute as a matter of state sovereignty, arguing that an injunction would unconstitutionally replace the state's discretion with the court's judgment.
This is the second in good rulings in favor of access and care in Kansas. Last month, an injunction was granted against the new licensing regulations that essentially put two clinics out of business.


In Indiana, the Indiana Housing Community and Development Authority--NOT the Family and Social Services Administration which typically handles financial distribution/oversight of health care services and federal/state money--has granted Planned Parenthood of Indiana $6,000 in neighborhood assistance grants.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana President and CEO Betty Cockrum says the $6,000 should help the group leverage $12,000 in donations.
The Authority wasn't going to give the money because of the garbage law that worked to defund the organization but decided to after Judge Pratt's injunction against the law in June.