Wichita A law stripping the Kansas Planned Parenthood chapter of its funding is part of a national campaign to cut off the entity's federal family planning money because of its advocacy of abortion rights, lawyers for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri argued in a court filing.
The document filed Wednesday was part of the preparation for a Monday hearing before U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten on Planned Parenthood's request for a temporary injunction prohibiting the statute from taking effect and restoring the clinic's funding.
Attorneys for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri contend that after Congress failed to bar federal funding for Planned Parenthood, several states took up the cause.
Similar action to partially or fully defund Planned Parenthood was taken by state legislatures in Indiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.
"In each instance, state lawmakers were focused on Planned Parenthood's advocacy for abortion rights and abortion services, even though federal law already prohibits government funding of abortions," wrote Lee Thompson, the Wichita attorney representing Planned Parenthood.
Attorneys representing the state did not respond to emails requesting comment on the latest filing.
Planned Parenthood's filing also derided the state's claim in court documents that no legislative history exists from which one might ascertain "legislative intent" behind the statute and that the budget provision itself does not mention abortion.
The entity's attorneys noted media reports that Republican Gov. Sam Brownback spoke to the state GOP caucus before the vote saying Kansas would become only the second state in the nation to "zero out funding of Planned Parenthood."
Several Republican lawmakers also boasted on the floor, in press releases and Twitter posts about defunding Planned Parenthood and touting it as a victory for the anti-abortion movement.
Peter Brownlie, president of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said in an affidavit included in the filing that Title X funds amount to more than 44 percent of the revenue at the chapter's Wichita health center and more than 30 percent of its revenue at a Hays facility, which it operates at a financial loss.
Without the funding, its projected monthly losses will more than double to $50,000 a month. It said it would have to raise fees to low income individuals now paying on a sliding fee scale. It also will close its Hays clinic.
The Planned Parenthood court filing also discounted the earlier state contention that Planned Parenthood could apply directly for federal Title X monies rather than through the federally funded state grant as it has done for the past 25 years.
Planned Parenthood told the court that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment included the Planned Parenthood clinics when it applied for a five-year grant running from 2010 through 2015. Because Planned Parenthood was named as a recipient clinic, it cannot now separately apply for federal Title X funding until 2015.
It also noted that just four months ago, KDHE expressly touted Planned Parenthood's family planning services in support of its continuation grant application to the federal government for the second year of the five-year project. Kansas received a total Title X grant of $2.46 million, allocating more than 12.5 percent of it to Planned Parenthood.
With the exception of the Johnson County Health Department, Planned Parenthood's Wichita and Hays clinics were projected to serve more patients than any other health care agency in Kansas, according to the filing.
Planned Parenthood, which has received federal funding for the past 25 years, expects the new provision to strip it of about $330,000 in annual funding for its health centers that provide services to about 4,720 patients in Wichita and 960 in Hays.