TOPEKA - Anti-abortion advocates criticized the decision of Gov. Mark Parkinson, who restored funding for Planned Parenthood in the wrapup budget bill.
Parkinson, a Democrat, used his line-item on a provision aimed at blocking Planned Parenthood from receiving money for family planning services. The money, a federal grant disseminated by the state, cannot be used for abortion services and helps fund Planned Parenthood’s clinics in Hays and Wichita.
Below is a written response by Kansans For Life Executive Director Mary Kay Culp.
“Any hopes that Governor Parkinson was better than Sebelius on life issues just flew out the window with this veto in which he gives Planned Parenthood priority over public health clinics without him even having the guts to mention the nation’s single largest abortion provider, by name.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Wichita Eagle
The Governor purposely gave the wrong impression when saying the budget went against the rules. This budget didn’t ban Planned Parenthood from getting one dime–they would remain on the list to receive funds. It simply re-prioritized the order of which entities got funds first.
When a private organization like Planned Parenthood gets tax dollars it frees up their private funds to pay lobbyists to troll for more tax funds, not to mention lobby against state abortion regulations. And even if the money goes to their clinics that don’t do abortions, again, it frees up the private money they have available for their clinics that do. In addition, even those clinics that don’t do abortions, refer for them.
By the Governor putting Planned Parenthood at the top, rather than the bottom of the list, he is saying he doesn’t care that they perform abortions, doesn’t care that they lobby to keep all abortions, even partial-birth abortions, legal, and doesn’t care that they are in trouble across the country for breaking state laws, including our own. But his veto does likely show that like Sebelius, Governor Parkinson appreciates that, unlike public health clinics, Planned Parenthood has a political arm that works to influence elections. .
There is no reason to give Planned Parenthood tax funding priority when the same services can be provided just as easily, and much less politically, by our public health clinics.”