The Kansas legislature has passed a multi-faceted pro-life bill that cuts Title X funds from Planned Parenthood and excludes automatic abortion coverage from private health care plans and the health insurance exchanges required by federal law to begin in 2014.
Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director of Kansans for Life, said this bill and others show that Kansas is “heading in the right direction.”
HB 2075 requires that over $300,000 in Title X federal money will go to local full-service health clinics instead of Planned Parenthood. It will also put $300,000 into a grant-matched fund for pregnancy maintenance and adoption counseling.
The provision is the second Planned Parenthood funding cut to pass a state legislature this year. In Indiana, Gov. Mitch Daniels signed into law a bill that cuts state funding for the organization, the largest abortion provider in the country.
Under the Kansas law, private health insurance plans will only cover abortions done to save the life of the mother. Kansas insurers may still offer abortion coverage, but through individually purchased riders that cost about $2, the Associated Press says.
Seven other states limit abortion in private health insurance plans.
Kansans for Life said the restriction makes sense because pregnancy is not a disease and abortion is not health care. Many businesses have objected to paying for elective abortions in the health plans they purchase for their employees.
“It is anything but unreasonable to insist that morally opposed individuals and businesses be freed from underwriting abortions,” said Mary Kay Culp, the organization’s executive director. She noted that state statistics show 40 percent of abortions are performed on women who have already had an abortion.
Other Kansas legislation will require annual, unannounced inspections of abortion clinics and impose new health and safety standards for the three abortion clinics in the state, the Kansas City Star reports.
Ostrowski praised the legislative session for passing bills intended to correct “fraudulent” abortion reporting, to protect women from “dangerous” abortion clinics, and to restrict late-term abortion.
“We have established a beachhead of protection for the developing unborn child based on accurate medical knowledge about the human capacity to feel pain and responded to the public's ever-growing revulsion to direct and indirect funding of abortion businesses,” she said.