Kansas Judge Blocks Law to Defund Planned Parenthood

Says he believes it is unconstitutional
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 1, 2011 2:29 PM CDT
Planned Parenthood Indiana supporters hold up signs and cheer during the organization's "Rally to Protect our Patient," March 8, 2011.   (AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Charlie Nye)
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(Newser) – A federal judge ruled today that Planned Parenthood would likely succeed in overturning a new Kansas law that would deny the group access to federal family planning funding, saying he believes the law is unconstitutional and was intended to punish Planned Parenthood for advocating for abortion rights. US District Judge J. Thomas Marten granted Planned Parenthood of Kansas' request for a temporary injunction blocking the law, which would divert Planned Parenthood funds to hospitals and public health departments.

In his ruling, Marten agreed with Planned Parenthood's argument that the statute is unconstitutional because it would impose additional restrictions on a federally-funded program, thereby violating the Supremacy Clause. He also agreed with the group's contention that the law likely violates the First and Fourteenth amendments. "The purpose of the statute was to single out, punish, and exclude Planned Parenthood," Marten said. Planned Parenthood says the law would have forced it to close a clinic in western Kansas, which would affect some 5,700 patients.

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