Politics & Government

Planned Parenthood defunding date and court hearing delayed

Planned Parenthood clinic in Wichita
Planned Parenthood clinic in Wichita File photo

Planned Parenthood’s defunding date has been rescheduled for June 7.

The state of Kansas originally planned to defund Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, but that date was pushed back when Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against the state last week.

A hearing for the lawsuit underwent delays, too. It’s now scheduled for May 25.

Bonyen Lee-Gilmore, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said the organization hopes to be granted a temporary restraining order against the state.

This all started a week ago when Planned Parenthood received a letter from the state announcing it would no longer receive Medicaid funds – therefore being defunded – effective May 10.

Medicaid is a government insurance program for people with low incomes or who are disabled. The state health department said Planned Parenthood received roughly $56,000 in calendar year 2014 and about $38,000 in 2015.

Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit the day after it received the state’s letter about pulling the funds.

A court hearing was originally set for May 6, but it was postponed, which in turn postponed the defunding date to May 24, and now to June 7.

In prior letters to Planned Parenthood, the state cited lack of cooperation with inspections as partial reasoning for it to defund the organization.

A representative for Gov. Sam Brownback said in a statement last week that he defunded Planned Parenthood “in order to protect the unborn and support a culture of life in Kansas.”

Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit alleges the state’s move to pull its funds was “unlawful, unwarranted and politically motivated.”

Gabriella Dunn: 316-268-6400, @gabriella_dunn