(Photo: AP Images / John Hanna)
Kansas lawmakers passed legislation Friday morning, banning general state health insurance from covering abortion and preventing future Obamacare funds from going to Planned Parenthood.
Passed in the last hours of the session, the Kansas state legislature approved a bill mandating private insurance companies to remove abortion from the list of standard procedures covered by in-state insurance health plans.
The only exception is in the case when the mother's life is at risk. Others seeking abortion coverage would have purchase it separately at their expense. According to The Associate Press, those riders are only $2.
Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, praised the bill's passage, saying, "It is anything but unreasonable to insist that morally opposed individuals and businesses be freed from underwriting abortions."
The language of the bill also allows the state to prevent any future state health exchanges mandated through Obamacare from including abortion coverage. These exchanges will begin in two years if the healthcare reform is not struck down judicially or legislatively.
The bill makes Kansas the sixth state to adopt an insurance ban for abortion, according to Reuters. The news agency reports that Missouri, North Dakota, Utah, Idaho, Kentucky and Oklahoma also have similar bans.
Peter Brownlie, president of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, criticized the bill's passage saying, "This amendment will be disastrous for thousands of Kansans, particularly those living in rural counties."
Brownlie asserted that those living in rural areas will experience limited access to affordable care. However, the bill did not remove Title X funds away from all health clinics, just Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider.
"The just-passed state budget will direct over $300,000 in Title 10 federal money to local full-service health clinics instead of Planned Parenthood," said KFL Legislative Director Kathy Ostrowski.
She also said the bill will "put $300,000 into the Stan Clark grant-matched fund for pregnancy maintenance and adoption counseling."
This is the fourth pro-life bill passed in Kansas this year.
Just last month, the state's Republican governor, Sam Brownback, signed into law two bills banning late-term abortion and requiring parental consent for pregnant minors seeking abortion.
"These bills establish that Kansas, in the heart of America, is a culture-of-life state – and we're not going back," Brownback said before signing.
Friday's ban on insurance companies offering abortion coverage and another bill regulating the licensure of abortion clinics are expected to be signed into law also. The bills will take effect July 1.