Campbell pointed out that there is currently a Kansas statute on the books prohibiting state dollars being used for abortions.
While other states, such as California and Illinois, have chosen to use state dollars to fund abortions, "the state of Kansas hasn't chosen to do it."
"I'm not sure why they're so worried about this," she said.
"I think there's adequate protection already. Let's get Kansans the healthcare they need and stop the political posturing...Let's get people healthcare, and then let's see if there's even this risk that [the KCC] is afraid of.”
For his part, Chuck Weber, executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference, remains adamant that the idea that Kansas could soon use state money to pay for elective abortions is not as far-fetched as Campell would have people believe.
The federal Hyde Amendment bars federal funds for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment.
At least 16 states, not including Kansas, currently use their own funds to pay for additional abortions outside of those conditions.
According to records from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Medicaid in Kansas covered one abortion in 2014 and three in 2018, KCUR reported.
Despite this, pro-life advocates have noted that limits on publicly funded abortion through state Medicaid programs have been struck down by the state supreme courts of Alaska, California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Jersey, and overall, nine state Medicaid programs now cover elective abortions as the result of judicial rulings, according to National Review.
“It is disingenuous to put on political blinders and ignore the other elephant in the room so closely connected to this issue,” Weber said in an email to CNA.
“If Kansas passes Medicaid Expansion without the protection of the state constitutional amendment … then we are virtually assuring that taxpayer-funded abortion will become a reality in Kansas.”
(Story continues below)
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The Special Committee on Medicaid Expansion, a joint House and Senate panel, held two days of hearings discussing an expansion of KanCare during November 2019.
Weber said in his Nov. 12 testimony that the conference cannot support Medicaid expansion unless it explicitly excludes the expansion of abortion coverage, includes conscience protections for healthcare organizations and individuals, and the state constitutional amendment is enacted to clarify that abortion is not a natural right.
Weber told CNA on Thursday that the KCC has contacted NETWORK to ask: “Why not help legislators to pass Value Them Both, which will then open the logjam to Medicaid Expansion in Kansas?”
“This is the authentically Catholic position, a classic win-win that helps save babies, protect women and provide healthcare to families,” Weber said.
For her part, Campbell reiterated to CNA that she sees the risk of Kansas taxpayer-funded abortions as small, and that for her “the urgency now is getting people healthcare."
"For me, what I see the Kansas [Catholic] Conference doing is stopping care for everybody else because they have a fear of what the Supreme Court might do. And this is anguish in my heart. We gotta care for the born, also. So let's deal with the born. Let's get 'em healthcare.”