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Monday, August 01, 2011

Federal judge blocks Kansas law defunding of Planned Parenthood
Zach Zagger at 12:01 PM ET

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[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Kansas [official website] Monday blocked a Kansas law [HB 2014, PDF; materials] that would prevent Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri (PPKM) [advocacy website] from receiving federal funding. Judge J Thomas Marten issued a temporary injunction [AP report] preventing the health centers from losing funding. PPKM filed the lawsuit [complaint, PDF] in June alleging that the HB 2014 violates the Supremacy Clause and the First and Fourteenth Amendments because it imposes additional restrictions on qualifying for funding than federal law requires and impermissibly harms PPKM's right to advocate for abortion [JURIST news archive] services or interfere with patients right to seek such services. PPKM argued that without the injunction blocking HB 2014 from taking effect, it would cause irreparable harm because it would be forced to close centers and raise fees.

Last month, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller [official website] filed a notice of appeal [JURIST report] to challenge a federal court judge's decision to issue a preliminary injunction blocking a similar Indiana law that would have defunded Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) [advocacy website]. Kansas currently has multiple suits challenging new abortion restrictions. Earlier this month, another judge for the US District Court for the District of Kansas issued a preliminary injunction [JURIST report], in a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CCR) [advocacy website], to block another Kansas regulation requiring clinics within the state to obtain a license to perform abortions. Without the injunction, two of Kansas' three abortion clinics would have been forced to close for failure to meet the new requirements for a license. Kansas is also among multiple states that have acted to ban abortions after 20 weeks, when some studies suggest a fetus can begin feeling pain, including Missouri, Indiana, Alabama, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Idaho [JURIST reports].

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