Legislature Ends Public Financing of Planned Parenthood, Insurance Coverage of Abortion

In the final moments of the 2011 Legislative Session, the Kansas Legislature approved separate bills that would end taxpayer financing of Planned Parenthood and would prevent private insurance companies from offering coverage of abortion as a standard component of health coverage.

The restriction on funding for Planned Parenthood was included in the massive annual appropriations bill that funds the state government.  It would have the effect of preventing Planned Parenthood from being eligible for the roughly $300,000 in Title X federal family planning funding it currently receives from the state.  Similar legislation has been approved in past years only to be line-item vetoed.  Governor Brownback, however, supports the measure.

Under the abortion insurance legislation, insurance companies would be able to offer a rider for customers who want abortion coverage, but those customers would have to pay an additional premium specifically for abortion.  Currently, many insurance plans in the private sector simply offer abortion coverage as a standard part of their package, meaning that Pro-Life Kansans are often unwittingly subsidizing other people’s abortions with their health care premiums.

The House vote on the abortion insurance legislation was 86-30 and the Senate vote was 28-10.