Kansas Gov. Brownback moves to strip Planned Parenthood funds
TOPEKA, Kansas, April 26, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The governor of Kansas has taken up the effort to defund Planned Parenthood in his state, putting forward budget proposals that would withhold federal taxpayer funds from going to the abortion giant.
The Kansas City Star reported Saturday that Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2012 eliminates Title X family planning funds for Planned Parenthood clinics and redirects about $300,000 to other state and local facilities.
“Gov. Brownback, along with the overwhelming majority of Kansans, opposes taxpayer subsidy of abortions,” said Brownback spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag.
Phillip Brownlee of the Wichita Eagle blog said that the Planned Parenthood clinics in Kansas that receive the funds don’t perform abortions, and thus claimed the motive for the budget move was disingenuous.
“It’s already illegal to use federal family planning funds for abortion. So there is no reason other than abortion politics to prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving federal Title X funds,” wrote Brownlee. The Star’s Barb Shelley similarly accused Brownback of promoting a “lie” about abortion funding.
Pro-life advocates argue, however, that the technical ban on taxpayer abortion funding means little when funds continue to benefit the nation’s largest provider of abortions. Kansans for Life argued in a press release Tuesday that taxpayers through Title X are “underwriting part of Planned Parenthood’s overhead and expenses, and at least part of the salary of the abortionist doing non-abortion ‘services.’”
Mary Kay Culp, Executive Director of Kansans for Life, said that giving Planned Parenthood funds intended to prevent pregnancy was counterintuitive given the group’s dependence on abortion.
“Why would we want to continue to give Planned Parenthood tax dollars to ostensibly prevent pregnancy, when they make even more money performing abortions when that ‘prevention’ fails?” said Culp in a press release Tuesday.
“The regular health clinics that otherwise get these tax funds provide everything to women that Planned Parenthood does, except abortions, plus health services to the rest of the family,” she added.
While recent Planned Parenthood campaigns have downplayed its role in providing abortions, the organization killed over 330,000 unborn children in America between June 2008-09; according to conservative estimates, abortions provided 37 percent of the billion-dollar organization’s clinic revenue in that time period. Nearly 98 percent of Planned Parenthood clinic services to pregnant women involve abortion.
The fight to defund Planned Parenthood moved to the state level after similar attempts on the federal level were squelched by President Obama, who, according to eyewitnesses, told GOP Speaker John Boehner that funding for the abortion organization was non-negotiable.
A similar move against Planned Parenthood is being considered by lawmakers in Indiana.
In a Townhall column Tuesday, Utah GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch and Family Research Council senior fellow Ken Blackwell surmised that Planned Parenthood was on the defensive thanks to committed grassroots pressure from pro-life citizens.
“In exposing Planned Parenthood for what it is, we have set the stage for a victory that might not come tomorrow, but eventually will come,” they wrote. “Due to the dogged work of pro-life citizens committed to defunding Planned Parenthood’s pro-abortion agenda, the days of Planned Parenthood feasting on taxpayer dollars are numbered.”