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Simon's Law hearing Sheryl Crosier

Sheryl Crosier, Simon’s Law

The Kansas legislature reconvened for the second half of the session and Kansans for Life testified in hearings for two pro-life bills.

On Thursday, the Senate Public Health & Welfare committee held a hearing on SB 437, Simon’s Law, a bill to insure that the issuance of any Do Not Resuscitate order (DNR) for a minor has parental consent.

Since baby Simon’s death five years ago due to unjustifiable denial of care, Sheryl Crosier, his mother, has been in touch with a myriad of other families whose

medically fragile children were harmed and/or denied medical resuscitation– due to negative “quality of life” value judgments from physicians and hospitals.

Simon’s Law, SB 437, was introduced by Sen. Jacob LaTurner (R-Pittsburg), who thanked Crosier for her commitment to the issue and her bravery in describing for the committee the events involved in her son’s death.

Sen LaTurner

Sen. Jacob LaTurner

Her testimony was indeed both shocking and gut-wrenching for those in the packed committee room: Sheryl and her husband discovered–after Simon’s demise– that life-sustaining care had been denied to him due to a secretly-placed DNR based on his status as an infant with Trisomy 18. (See details here and read more in her book: I am Not a Syndrome, My name is Simon.)

Crosier’s experience triggered the production of a 2014 film  called Labeled,” on the topic of the medical discrimination against children with Trisomy 18, Trisomy 13 and related chromosomal disorders. (See info on these conditions here.)

Kansans for Life is promoting Simon’s Law, on behalf of these families– as well as physicians and researchers– who want parents assured of “an environment that allows medical decisions to be made in an ethical and transparent way.”  (Read KFL testimony here, and numerous heart-breaking actual accounts submitted to the committee here.)

The committee will likely work on the bill next week.  Contact info is here for Senate Health committee members, so you can urge them to pass Simon’s Law, SB 437.

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp

BILL THAT PLANNED PARENTHOOD HATES
On Wednesday, March 2, the Senate Ways & Means Committee heard testimony from Kansans for Life supporting SB 436. This measure would make permanent the way the state health department, KDHE, assigns grants using Title X federal funding.

First passed in 2007 as the Huelskamp-Kinzer amendment, SB 436 prioritizes that full-service public clinics and hospitals are first in line for Title X ‘reproductive-services’ money. Remaining money is secondarily prioritized to private, full-service clinics and hospitals.

The emphasis is on providing comprehensive health care for Kansans who qualify for Title X, and for strengthening ‘safety net’ health clinics.

The legislature annually passed the Huelskamp-Kinzer amendment only to have it vetoed by pro-abortion governors, until pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback took office in 2011.  It has been approved in the budget every year since.

Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri (PPKMM) sued the Title X prioritization because they cannot provide the comprehensive care now required. During litigation, however, PPKMM continued to receive over a million dollars when Kansas was forced by an activist court to continue contracting with them.

The Kansas Attorney Generals’ office strongly defended the measure in federal district court, and on appeal. Dr. Robert Moser, then-KDHE Secretary who was named in the lawsuit, justified the state’s position, stating,

“Title X was not intended to be an entitlement program for Planned Parenthood.”

Sen. Caryn Tyson

Sen. Caryn Tyson

The Title X prioritization of the Huelskamp-Kinzer amendment was finally upheld in a ruling from the federal Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in March 2014. After PPKMM’s loss, they dropped further appeals. Read more here.

With 26 Senate co-sponsors, Sen. Caryn Tyson (R-Parker) introduced SB 436, in which the Title X budget prioritization is put permanently into statute.

KFL testimony supporting SB 436 is here. Contact info is here for Senate Ways & Means committee members to encourage passage of SB 436.

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no PPIn a not unexpected move, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri announced today it plans to close its financially failing Hays facility that no longer qualifies for family planning funds distributed by the Kansas health department.

PPKMM lost a crucial legal fight in March when the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a 2011 lower court ruling.

The trial judge’s decision had forced the Kansas Department of Health and Environment

to direct approximately one million dollars over the past three years, mainly to Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid-Missouri.

On May 9, PPKMM announced they would not pursue any more appeals.

The 2009 Kinzer-Huelskamp budget amendment directed the state health department to award Title X money to full-service medical clinics and hospitals best serving the indigent. That prioritization was approved consistently  by the Kansas legislature but vetoed by former Governors Sebelius and Parkinson. However, it has been approved in every budget under current Gov. Sam Brownback.

While PPKMM’s Hays and Wichita “feeder” clinics did not perform abortions, they referred for them. Apparently that was enough of a reason to keep their doors open when they were seriously in the red—combined over $225,000 each year—even when they were receiving over $300,000 in Title X funding.

LEGAL BACKGROUND

PPKMM sued, and won mandatory funding from 2011-2014, ordered by Wichita federal judge Thomas Marten in a 36-page decision handed down in August 2011.

Judge Marten’s opinion could have been lifted from one of the briefs filed by Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. He accepted without quibble Planned Parenthood’s argument that (in his words) “The purpose of the statute was to single out, punish and exclude Planned Parenthood.”

Various state officials “hotly contested” Marten’s decision, as the Kansas City Star wrote at the time, and responded vigorously.

Dr. Robert Moser, who was  sued in his capacity as Secretary for Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said,

Title X was not intended to be an entitlement program for Planned Parenthood. Other providers are already offering a fuller spectrum of health care for Kansas patients. This highly unusual ruling implies a private organization has a right to taxpayer subsidy. The people of Kansas disagree.”

Added Attorney General Derek Schmidt in a prepared statement, “It appears that the Court declared a duly-enacted Kansas statute unconstitutional without engaging in the fact-finding one would expect before reaching such a conclusion,”

The Tenth Circuit Court of appeals overturned Judge Marten in March, ruling that PPKMM lacked standing to pursue its claims in federal court, and that its claim of a First Amendment violation lacked merit–about as resounding a defeat as you could get.

Mary Kay Culp, executive director for Kansans for Life, said, “we applaud that Kansas budget decisions are no longer being forced to prop up a for-profit abortion business.

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Excerpt of state violations v Kansas PP

Planned Parenthood filed suit today to get the court to force Kansas to give them nearly one-third million dollars in tax money. (see court filings: motion here. memo here, and complaint here)

The newly approved  Kansas Budget directs that family planning services financed in any way under “Title X” federal rules must be contracted primarily with public health clinics and secondarily with qualified non-public hospitals or health centers that provide comprehensive health care–primary and preventative.

In plain language, Kansas wants to support the local health clinics that see patients of all ages and provide a wide range of services including immunizations, screenings, physicals, and referrals.  These health clinics are easily accessible, important to a community, and serve the poor.

By definition of their limited practices, Planned Parenthood fails in this mission. (more…)

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Kansas wants PP defundedEditorial board members of the Kansas McClatchy newspapers that have fought hard to advance Planned Parenthood interests are furious that the upcoming budget reconciliation indicates the abortion giant will lose state funding this year.

3 months ago, the Governor’s proposed budget was introduced, including the rerouting of Title X federal tax-funded family planning dollars to state clinics that provide family medical services. It reflected the Huelskamp/ Kinzer budget instruction which had been line-item vetoed by abortion-supporter, Gov. Mark Parkinson in 2009 and 2010.

What the Kansas City and Wichita pro-abortion editorialists decried as ‘promoting a lie‘ or ‘pure politics’ was the official comment from the governor’s spokesperson that “Gov. Brownback, along with the overwhelming majority of Kansans, opposes taxpayer subsidy of abortions.”

But it is true!   While not directly permitted to cover abortions, Title X funds are underwriting part of Planned Parenthood’s overhead and expenses, and at least part of the salary of any abortionist doing Title X services. As former Texas Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson (more…)

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PP newsletter touts party w/ Sebelius

HHS head Kathleen Sebelius is in hot water on 2 fronts: health care conscience rights and funding for Planned Parenthood.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight panel wants Sebelius to justify funding abortion giant Planned Parenthood after it’s been caught red-handed –repeatedly–in the despicable act of aiding and abetting sex trafficking and prostitution of girls as young as 14.

Congressman Mike Pence has introduced legislation that would yank PP’s Title X family planning money, but he told the Times he will go further and introduce an amendment to cut all federal funding to PP.

Congress can’t possibly expect any honest help defunding Planned Parenthood from Sebelius, with a long history of collaborating with abortion interests.

In 2006, Sebelius & PP President Cecile Richards teamed up to (more…)

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In Kansas, state tax money is joined with Federal tax money to pay for the “Title 10 family planning” program.

UPDATE, Feb.10: new move to defund ALL Title 10 money

Anyone– including minors— can get “health” services under Title 10, although it is technically targeted for low-income persons.  (That’s one reason, in the recent video sting of a NJ Planned Parenthood facility, you saw the clinic manager tell the pimp to have his workers say they are students– insuring Title 10 reimbursement.)

Title 10 is not supposed to pay for abortion. It does cover

  • family planning (birth control pills/injections),
  • “related” services like pelvic exams,
  • testing for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases),
  • staff training in these matters,
  • data collection/ research, and
  • information dissemination and community education.

Local Kansas health clinics and Planned Parenthood (PP) businesses are both eligible to get some of this money, but for decades, PP got  all it wanted first.  The check was even mailed to PP headquarters in Overland Park, (which commits thousands of abortions each year) and then supposedly distributed to the PP “family planning” offices in Hays, Wichita and Lawrence (now closed).

UPDATE, Feb.8: This afternoon, Rep. Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe) offered a ‘defund Planned Parenthood’ amendment to the current 2010/11 budget such that any Title 10 moneys yet to be utilized, go to local health clinics, not PP. The amendment passed the House 91-26.  (more…)

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Gov. Mark Parkinson’s predictable veto of the Huelskamp/Kinzer proviso, secures an estimated $375,000 in federal Title X money for Planned Parenthood clinics in Wichita and Hays.

Minutes away from those two locations, Kansas public health clinics that qualify for those tax-payer funds –and also offer comprehensive health services to low income people of all ages–are struggling to keep their doors open. (Read about Kansas Title X clinics in KFL press release here.)

This is the second year that the governor vetoed this prioritization of Title X funds by claiming the law prohibited Kansas from prioritizing “safety net” clinics and cutting off funds Planned Parenthood. However, the Kansas health department admitted no federal law prevents it.

Parkinson, like President Obama, is indebted to abortion (more…)

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