Federal Judge Orders Funding Restored for Family Planning Clinic

Yesterday US District Court Judge Thomas Marten ruled that the state of Kansas must continue to distribute federal family planning funds to the Dodge City Family Planning Clinic after a law went into effect on July 1 banning Title X family planning funding from going to the clinic. The law requires that the state allocate all federal family planning money to hospitals and public health departments. The Dodge City Clinic indicated that unless the funding is restored, the clinic would be forced to close in a few weeks. The clinic’s closure would affect approximately 650 women, many of whom are low income.

Earlier this month, Judge Marten ruled that the Dodge City Family Planning Clinic could join a lawsuit, filed by Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri (PPKM), challenging the Kansas law. Judge Marten indicated that PPKM and the Dodge City Medical Clinic have “the same interest” in their cases to restore Title X funding.

On August 1, Judge Marten temporarily blocked the enforcement of the law, which prevented Planned Parenthood from receiving $330,000 of federal money for fiscal year 2011-2012. Judge Marten wrote, “Residents of Wichita and Hays, Kan., will be best assured of continued family planning services by maintaining the status quo.”

National Partnership for Women and Families 10/19/11; Associated Press 10/18/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 10/12/11

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