KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Judge Temporarily Bars Kansas From Cutting Planned Parenthood Funds

The Kansas law would have stripped family-planning funds from going to Planned Parenthood.

Kansas City Star: Judge Blocks De-Funding Of Planned Parenthood In Kansas
For the second time in a month, a federal judge has temporarily halted a law aimed at abortion clinics. U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten issued a preliminary injunction Monday that blocks Kansas from stripping federal family-planning funds from Planned Parenthood. He ordered the state to start distributing the money to the agency. Marten's ruling - hotly contested by state officials - came just weeks after a federal judge in Kansas City, Kan., temporarily stopped the state from imposing new licensing requirements on abortion providers (Cooper, 8/1).

CNN: Judge Temporarily Blocks Kansas' Family Planning Money Restrictions 
The injunction issued Monday by Judge Thomas Marten in Wichita, Kansas, is a setback for state lawmakers and Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. Planned Parenthood officials said it would allow them to continue to offer services such as pap smears, birth control, and breast exams to women who could not otherwise afford them (Mears, 8/1). 

The Associated Press: Judge Blocks Kan. Law Defunding Planned Parenthood
Marten's order handed the state its second major setback after abortion foes succeeded in pushing through the Republican-controlled Legislature a slew of anti-abortion legislation, only to see federal judges quickly block their enforcement. Last month in a separate lawsuit, a federal judge in Kansas City, Kan., also temporarily blocked stringent new abortion clinic regulations (Hegeman, 8/1).

The Hill: Report: Kansas Judge Blocks Planned Parenthood Defunding
The issue has emerged in states across the country as conservatives seek new ways to restrict abortions. Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest abortion provider but says its federal funding only helps pay for preventive care for low-income women. Federal officials have warned New Hampshire and Indiana that they'll lose federal funding if they restrict Medicaid funding for the organization (Pecquet, 8/1). 

Reuters: Judge Blocks Kansas Law Aimed At Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri has said the law stops federal money for cancer screenings, breast exams and birth control for low-income patients (Wisniewski, 8/2).

Meanwhile, the issue is also a hot topic in Indiana.

The Associated Press/Forbes: Ind. Asks Court To Lift Planned Parenthood Order
In a brief filed Monday, Indiana says the issue should be decided by Medicaid officials and not the courts. Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels signed the law May 10, temporarily cutting off about $1.4 million to Planned Parenthood of Indiana because it provides abortions. The state is asking the federal appeals court in Chicago to reverse U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt's June 24 preliminary injunction. Pratt's ruling barred the state from cutting Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood (Wilson and LoBianco, 8/1). 

And in other related news -

The Hill: Court: No Tax Funded Abortion In Health Care Law
A federal court said Monday that the healthcare reform law does not provide taxpayer funding for abortion. The court reached that conclusion in a lawsuit between former Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio) and the Susan B. Anthony List. SBA List said in campaign materials that by supporting healthcare reform, Driehaus had voted in favor of taxpayer-funded abortion. That statement was false, the court ruled (Baker, 8/1). 

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