Topeka Kansas asked a federal judge Friday whether it can make monthly payments to Planned Parenthood while it pursues an appeal of his order requiring the state to keep providing the group with federal funds to finance its non-abortion services.
Lawyers for the attorney general’s office raised the issue a day after Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri’s top administrator publicly accused the state of violating an Aug. 1 order from U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten of Wichita. The order blocked a provision of the state budget aimed at preventing Planned Parenthood from receiving any of the state’s share of federal family planning dollars.
President and CEO Peter Brownlie said the Planned Parenthood chapter hasn’t received any funds from the state Department of Health and Environment, despite Marten’s order. The state is appealing the decision, but Planned Parenthood contends it is still obligated to turn over the money immediately.
The state’s lawyers said they believe monthly payments to Planned Parenthood “will fully comply” with Marten’s order and “more than fully protect against any harm” alleged by the group from the budget provision. Also, the state wants Planned Parenthood to post bond, so that any funds it receives can be recovered and redistributed should the appeals court side with the state.
Brownlie said Thursday that the Planned Parenthood chapter was considering going back to Marten to force the state to turn over the federal funds.
“The state’s refusal to comply with the court’s order is rather remarkable,” he said.