On June 30 of this year, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri will close the doors of their Hays center according to the Hays Daily News after 38 years of operations.
According to court documents, the Hays center and a Wichita Planned Parenthood received federal funds, to the tune of $330,000.
The funds entitled ‘Title X funds’ come from the Public Health Service Act, a federal program focused on family planning. The state law requires the funds from Title X money to first go to public health departments and hospitals. The money is meant to be an assistance to low income families who are in need of reproductive services. In March a U.S District Court of Appeals panel decided Kansas could take those funds from clinics in Wichita and Hays. Planned Parenthood went to court with a lawsuit against that decision. Planned Parenthood lost and on May 9, federal funds were taken from Planned Parenthood to give to public health departments and hospitals.
The state development director at Kansans for Life, David Gittrich remarked on the closing:
“I’m always delighted when a huge abortion-minded organization closes one of its affilates,” Gittrich said. “This is a big positive move for the Hays community. Having a baby is a blessing, not a curse, and any organization that promotes or refers for abortions should be closed. They’re not really helping women.”
Planned Parenthood plans to close it’s Hays center to focus on raising community funds to save another center in Wichita. In a written statement, their Interim CEO Ron Ellifrits remarked:
“The generous support of private individuals across the state, as well as the difficult decision to close our health center in Hays, will allow Planned Parenthood to continue providing services for as many Kansas women and men as possible while Kansas lawmakers continue to play politics with women’s health.”
Sadly, Ellifrits has it wrong. Removing funds from Planned Parenthood and directing them to public health departments and hospitals is a move that supports women’s health. I’m grateful for the U.S District Court of Appeals decision that affirms Kansas’s ability to direct funds and I hope other states will follow in their footsteps.