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KANSAS DECISION TO DEFUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD PUTS POLITICS ABOVE THE HEALTH OF YOUNG PEOPLE

May 4, 2016

Kate Londen

klonden@urge.org

202-965-7700 x115

In response to the recent decision by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to terminate Planned Parenthood’s participation in Kansas Medicaid, Kierra Johnson, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, issued this statement:

“We are deeply disappointed that the Kansas authorities have made the politically motivated decision to block Planned Parenthood’s participation in Kansas Medicaid. This decision will surely keep young Kansans from critical healthcare services. Young people are less likely to have health insurance and more likely to have low-paying jobs. The healthcare available at Planned Parenthood is affordable partially because of Medicaid reimbursements. Protecting Medicaid reimbursements helps to ensure that young people do not have to go without the healthcare they need.

This announcement comes just weeks after the Center for Medicaid Services issued a letter stating clearly that blocking state Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood does not comply with federal law. The decision to defund Planned Parenthood will head to the courts where it will almost certainly lose. As a state in a budget crisis, Kansas can’t afford this lengthy court battle.

We should put the health needs of young Kansans ahead of political agendas. If Kansas politicians need some help figuring out how better to use their time, we’ve got ideas: Young Kansans want stigma-free sex education in schools and legislators willing to help them start and sustain healthy families when they are ready to parent.”