Nation & World

Planned Parenthood funds in Kansas restored by federal judge

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered Kansas to restore federal family planning funds to Planned Parenthood as the case is appealed.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Marten ruled that the funding should be provided to Planned Parenthood on a quarterly basis, not the monthly allocation sought by the state.

Planned Parenthood had threatened to close its Hays, Kan., clinic on Friday unless it learned by then that its federal family planning funds would start flowing again.

Earlier this year, the Kansas Legislature stripped Planned Parenthood of about $330,000 in the 2011-12 budget and redirected that money primarily to public health departments.

Planned Parenthood sued, and on Aug. 1, Marten temporarily blocked Kansas from enforcing the new budget provision. However, the state had not released the money.

Planned Parenthood also said that without the funding, its Wichita clinic would discontinue a federal sliding fee schedule, which discounts services for patients based on their income.

The state had asked the judge whether it would suffice to pay Planned Parenthood monthly while the case is on appeal. Planned Parenthood wanted to be paid quarterly.

The state has argued that Planned Parenthood has never shown that losing the money would cause its clinics to curtail services. It maintains that the money in question is only 5.5 percent of Planned Parenthood’s revenue and that the agency’s other operations, including abortions, would more than make up for any shortfall in its Wichita and Hays offices.

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