September 21, 2014
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Planned Parenthood: KS Budget Amendment Undermining Women's Health

 Overland Park, KS—Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri sharply criticized the Kansas Legislature for passing a budget with an anti-women’s health care amendment which would effectively end family planning funding for Planned Parenthood. The amendment will take life-saving cancer screenings, annual exams, birth control, and STI testing and treatment away from low-income and uninsured Kansas women, men and teens.

In a calculated budget maneuver, Governor Sam Brownback and legislative allies manipulated the funding stream to deny Planned Parenthood, the largest and most qualified family planning provider in the state, the opportunity to take part in the federal family planning program.

“It is outrageous that Gov. Brownback will sign a budget bill that will undermine women’s health and deny Planned Parenthood from providing preventive health care through the Title X program,” said Peter Brownlie, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood. “Thousands of Kansans are now at risk of losing access to basic, preventive health care.”

“Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri is seriously considering all options – including litigation --- to protect the health care needs of our patients, particularly low-income women and families. The Kansas budget bill, and its provision to deny federal Title X funds to Planned Parenthood, does not take immediate effect. There is no question: If the measure acts as intended, Planned Parenthood and thousands of patients will be unfairly punished," said Brownlie.

The 2012 budget contains an amendment that makes the most qualified family planning provider the least likely to receive any Title X family planning funding. The amendment places Planned Parenthood at the bottom of the eligibility list, even though it has been a trusted family planning provider for years. In addition, at the national level, Planned Parenthood serves about a third of Title X patients.

The Title X program is the nation’s family planning program, and provides federal funding for preventive health care including birth control, cancer screenings and pap tests, annual exams and STI testing and treatment. Title X funds are prohibited by law from paying for abortions.

Each year, Planned Parenthood provides more than 3,000 pap tests and breast exams, 9,000 birth control visits, and 18,000 STD tests to Title X clients in Kansas. Planned Parenthood currently receives approximately $334,000 in Title X funding.

In Kansas, Planned Parenthood provides Title X family planning services to more than 8,000 Kansans at our Wichita and Hays health centers. Hays is the ONLY Title X provider in Ellis County. In the eight rural counties adjacent to Ellis, one offers limited family planning one day per month and four have no family planning services at all.

This amendment not only sets a bad precedent, it is bad public policy. It will leave thousands of additional Kansans without access to vital health care services and will lead to increased health care costs for the state.

“This amendment will be disastrous for thousands of Kansans, particularly those living in rural counties. By effectively eliminating Planned Parenthood as Title X provider, patients may be forced to endure long wait time for live-saving cancer screenings and the possibility of having to drive hundreds of miles to the nearest low-income family planning provider. This amendment is an attack on poor women, and it is repugnant," said Brownlie.

FACT: The funds at issue can ONLY be used for family planning services, including annual exams, Pap smears and birth control. Planned Parenthood health centers in Wichita and Hays, which receive Title X funding, do not provide abortion services.

FACT: Publicly Funded Family Planning Centers, including Planned Parenthood in Wichita and Hays, avert approximately 4,000 abortions each year.

FACT: Over 90% of patients come to Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri health centers for family planning and prevention services.

FACT: According to the Guttmacher Institute, every $1 spent on family planning services in Kansas saves the State $6.14 in Medicaid-related costs.

 

The Facts on Kansas’ Move to Exclude Planned Parenthood from Federal Title X Funding

The Kansas legislature has just passed a state 2012 budget bill that is intended to prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving Title X federal funding for lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control and basic family planning.

This budget amendment will have drastic implications for rural Kansas women and families, limiting their ability to access affordable, life-saving, basic medical care. The 2012 budget takes effect on July 1.

These legislative attacks are part of a larger effort to undermine Planned Parenthood. Earlier this week, Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana signed a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood; PPIN has filed litigation to protect their services and patients. The next court hearing is set for June 6.

Similar efforts are also underway in state legislatures in Oklahoma, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. If these efforts succeed, the result will be drastically reduced options for preventive care and family planning for low-income women and those who live in rural areas.

The Kansas Budget Bill

In a calculated budget maneuver, Governor Sam Brownback and legislative allies manipulated the funding stream to deny Planned Parenthood the opportunity to take part in the federal family planning program. The bill creates priority funding categories, effectively leaving Planned Parenthood off the list as a recipient of funds despite the fact that it has been a Title X recipient in Kansas for almost 40 years.

Governor Brownback has publicly stated his bias against Planned Parenthood, claiming that the taxpayer funds would pay for abortion, despite the fact by law Title X funds can only be used for family planning services—pap smears, annual exams and birth control.

In fact, Planned Parenthood health centers in Wichita and Hays, which receive Title X funding, do not even provide abortion services.

In 2011, Planned Parenthood received more than $300,000 in federal Title X funds in Kansas. According to the Guttmacher Institute, every $1 spent on family planning services in Kansas saves the State $6.14 in Medicaid-related costs.

In an April 20 Kansas City Star article, Rep. Barbara Bollier, a Mission Hills Republican and an abortion rights supporter, said Planned Parenthood will probably lose the money when the Legislature returns to approve a budget this week.

Bollier added that many lawmakers believe their constituents want them to oppose anything connected to abortion, including funding of contraceptives and Planned Parenthood.

“I am absolutely amazed that people who want to reduce abortions believe they can do so by cutting off funding for contraceptives,” she said.

What does this mean for patients?

Planned Parenthood was the only option for my healthcare when I was a young college graduate with no job. If not for the preventative screenings I received, I might not have learned I was carrying the HPV virus and developing abnormal cervix cells. I was able to have a follow up test (during which I listened to the taunts of the protesters outside the clinic) and determine that surgery was necessary. I now (many years later) am Mom to two great kids. Without the healthcare provided by Planned Parenthood, I don\'t know that I\'d be in the same position. I credit Planned Parenthood with my health and my opportunity to become a Mom. Kristina W,Leawood, KS

Each year, Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri cares for 8,000 Title X patients, providing more than

3,000 pap tests and breast exams,
9,000 birth control visits, and
18,000 STD tests.
At immediate risk are the health care needs of rural Kansans in Ellis County and surrounding areas.

Planned Parenthood’s Hays health center is the ONLY Title X provider in Ellis County. In the eight rural counties adjacent to Ellis, one offers limited family planning one day per month and four have no family planning services at all.

By eliminating Planned Parenthood as Title X provider, patients may be forced to endure long waiting periods for live-saving cancer screenings and the possibility of having to drive hundreds of miles to the nearest low-income family planning provider.

Litigation

In Indiana, Governor Mitch Daniels signed legislation that prohibits Planned Parenthood of Indiana, the largest provider of reproductive health care in the state, from receiving federal Medicaid funds. The defunding measure took effect immediately. PPIN has filed suit in order to continue serving Medicaid patients, and the next court date to seek injunctive relief is set for June 6.

Similarly, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri is currently exploring all opportunities – including litigation --- to protect the health care needs of our patients, particularly low-income women and families. However, unlike in Indiana, the Kansas budget bill, and its provision to deny federal Title X funds to Planned Parenthood, does not take immediate effect.

There is no question: If the measure acts as it is intended, Planned Parenthood and thousands of patients will be unfairly punished.

Beyond Kansas: Women under Attack

Despite a bipartisan vote in the United States Senate to defeat a proposal to bar Planned Parenthood from providing health care to women through Medicaid and other federal programs, Planned Parenthood and women’s access to health care are still under attack. Across the country, state legislatures — like those in Indiana, Texas, and North Carolina — are either considering or have passed bills that would cut off funds for women’s health care. And in Oklahoma, legislators have even gone so far as to sacrifice funds for the Women, Infant, and Children’s program (WIC) in order to defund Planned Parenthood.

These bills cynically place political ideology over basic health care, putting the lives of millions of women and families at risk. As we saw during the federal debate, these attacks are bad health policy, bad fiscal policy, and bad politics.

INDIANA: On May 10, the Governor signed into law an amendment to an Omnibus Abortion Bill that would cut off millions in federal funds to Planned Parenthood of Indiana despite questions about the legality of blocking a beneficiary’s choice of provider. The federal district court in Indiana denied Planned Parenthood of Indiana’s (PPIN) request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to prevent the recently enacted “defunding” law from taking effect. The court set a hearing on PPIN’s motion for a preliminary injunction for June 6.

NORTH CAROLINA: On May 3, the North Carolina House passed a budget including an amendment that would prohibit the state from entering into grants or contracts with Planned Parenthood. This would prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving federal Title X funds. Planned Parenthood currently receives that funding to provide preventive health care services, teen pregnancy prevention programs, and affordable contraception. North Carolina’s nine Planned Parenthood health centers provide health care to more than 25,000 women and men. In a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling, 57 percent of North Carolina voters opposed the effort by House Republicans to prohibit state funding to Planned Parenthood.

OKLAHOMA: Oklahoma House members moved to deny Planned Parenthood from participating in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. Planned Parenthood receives WIC funding to provide nutrition vouchers for families participating in the affiliate’s prenatal and pediatric programs. The measure does not identify Planned Parenthood specifically, but rather limits WIC funding to select groups, excluding Planned Parenthood and, unintentionally, eight other WIC recipients. We ultimately expect the language of this measure to be amended to solely exclude Planned Parenthood.

TENNESSEE: The General Welfare, Health & Human Resources committee of the Tennessee Senate approved an amendment for the state budget that would ultimately deny Title X funding to Planned Parenthood. Without this funding, low-income and uninsured women and teens in Memphis and Shelby County will be denied lifesaving STI and HIV screenings, birth control, and basic health care, leading ultimately to more unplanned pregnancies, underweight births, and infant mortality (a pressing local issue). The bill is expected to pass the legislature and be signed by the Governor in the next few weeks.

TEXAS: Texas is in the process, through a combination of rule making and legislation, of excluding Planned Parenthood from the state Women’s Health Program (funded through a Medicaid family planning waiver). The legislative piece is headed to the Senate floor. Planned Parenthood currently provides nearly 50 percent of the services provided under this program. The legislation adds a high stakes threat: if Planned Parenthood successfully litigates against the ban, Texas would eliminate the Medicaid Women’s Health Program entirely. On May 3, Planned Parenthood sent a letter to Republican State Sen. Robert Deuell, who introduced the bill, indicating it will pursue all necessary steps to continue providing care to low-income women, including litigation.

WISCONSIN AND NEW JERSEY: In addition, GOP Governors Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Chris Christie in New Jersey have slashed funds for family planning in their budgets. Walker — whose war on unions has made him one the most divisive figures in the country — has proposed a budget that completely eliminates family planning from the state budget, which would in turn put federal grants in jeopardy. In New Jersey, Christie’s 2010 budget, which eliminated $7.4 million from the budget for basic reproductive health care, forced at least five family planning health centers in the state to close.

Lawmakers have dressed up their ideological proposals as cost-cutting initiatives. The damage these bills will cause to women’s health will be catastrophic — not to mention extremely costly.

 


STORY TAGS: Women News, Minority News, Discrimination, Diversity, Female, Underrepresented, Equality, Gender Bias, Equality

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