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Supreme Court rejects Kansas appeal over Planned Parenthood funding

Posted at 6:25 PM, Dec 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-10 19:46:55-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday announced that it would not hear appeals from Kansas and Louisiana that would have eliminated Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood. 

The organization has sparred with both states over Medicaid funding since 2016. Kansas and Louisiana argued that Planned Parenthood should not be allowed to receive Medicaid funding. Medicaid patients sued after the states decided to end their funding agreements with the health organization.

"Our state argued and the state of Louisiana argued that when there is a problem with some of these providers, then we as a state have a concern. The ones who look out for people," said Mary Kay Culp with Kansans for Life.

The two states appealed lower court rulings that had blocked them from withholding money that is used for health services for low-income women. 

The Supreme Court decision not to hear the appeals showed that Kansas "acted improperly" when it terminated Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, said Rachel Sweet, regional director of public policy for Planned Parenthood.

"We have seen since day one this was a politically motivated decision. It really wasn't about making sure that Kansans that had access to high-quality health care," Sweet said.

Officials at Kansans For Life said they don't see the court's decision as a defeat.

"Although Planned Parenthood is acting like it's a win for them, I'm not so sure that's true in the long run," Culp said.

She said the Supreme Court decision won't stop her group from continuing their efforts.

"Nothing is ever going to stop us from our efforts. No, no, not at all," she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report