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Judge blocks Planned Parenthood defunding

Aug. 1, 2011 at 3:45 PM   |   Comments

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WICHITA, Kan., Aug. 1 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Wichita, Kan., Monday temporarily barred enforcement of a Kansas law that would defund Planned Parenthood's federal family planning money.

The law, signed into law by Republican Sam Brownback, would block federal Medicaid funding from reaching Planned Parenthood, which had claimed it would have to close some of clinics and raise fees, ultimately denying some patients access to health services.

Opponents of the Kansas law also said it violates federal law by depriving Medicaid patients the ability to choose a health care provider, CNN reported. The state argued that state agencies could take care of patients who would have gone to Planned Parenthood under Medicaid coverage.

Planned Parenthood is barred under federal law from using family planning services funding -- typically used for pap smears, birth control, breast exams and gynecological exams -- to pay for abortions.

Planned Parenthood said that under the law, women who rely on Medicaid coverage could no longer receive services at any of the group's statewide centers. In Kansas, more than 5,700 people access healthcare services at Planned Parenthood through the federal Title X program.

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