Planned Parenthood

Elana Gordon / KCUR/File photo

Kansas improperly sought to end Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday, rejecting the state's claims that the organization illegally trafficked in fetal parts and committed other wrongdoing.


A lawyer who spearheaded Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s efforts to block Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood will take charge of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment next week.

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill Wednesday morning requiring abortion providers to give patients information listing their credentials, any disciplinary actions meted out against them and whether they have malpractice insurance.

The law signed on Thursday by President Trump allowing states to cut off family planning funding to Planned Parenthood won’t have an immediate effect on the organization’s affiliates in Missouri and Kansas.

That’s because Kansas barred Planned Parenthood from receiving Title X family planning funds several years ago – a move later upheld by a federal appeals court.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

The top Democrat in the Kansas Senate wants the chamber to admonish a fellow senator who equated Planned Parenthood to Nazis. Republican Steve Fitzgerald compared Planned Parenthood to Dachau, a Nazi concentration camp. He did so after someone made a contribution to the organization in his name.

Democrat Anthony Hensley says he'll formally ask Senate leaders to hold Fitzgerald accountable for his comments.

A Kansas senator who compared Planned Parenthood to Dachau doubled down on his statement and called Planned Parenthood worse than Nazi concentration camps.

Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, a Republican from Leavenworth, told KCUR in Kansas City on Monday that he saw nothing wrong with the comparison, which he made in a letter to Planned Parenthood after a woman made a donation to the organization in his name.

Asked if he thought Planned Parenthood was akin to a Nazi concentration camp, he replied, “Worse. Much worse, much worse, much worse."

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Around 1,000 abortion opponents gathered at the Kansas Statehouse Monday for an annual rally marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the decision that legalized abortion.

Gov. Sam Brownback told the crowd to keep its eyes on the Kansas Supreme Court. The high court is reviewing a lawsuit in which a lower court ruled that the state Constitution protects a woman's right to abortion.

“Yet this can never really be true, that abortion is a right," Brownback said. "Our rights come from God, and amongst them is the inherent right to life."

Elana Gordon / KCUR/File photo

A new federal rule barring states from withholding federal family planning funds from Planned Parenthood could prove to be a short-term victory for the organization.

Congressional Republicans have already put the rule on their hit list, and it may not survive the first 100 days of a Donald Trump administration.

The rule, posted Wednesday on the website of the Federal Register, is slated to take effect Jan. 18, two days before Inauguration Day.


Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline has lost his lawsuit against the justices of the Kansas Supreme Court who suspended his law license three years ago.

Kline challenged the validity of the court’s decision. He claimed the court violated a provision of the Kansas Constitution when five of its justices recused themselves and were replaced by temporary judges.

But a federal judge didn’t buy it and tossed Kline’s lawsuit, saying it presented a political question and therefore had to be dismissed.


The state of Kansas incurred nearly $300,000 in legal fees in just three months to defend a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood challenging the state’s decision to boot the organization from the Medicaid program.

Invoices obtained by KCUR show that outside law firms representing the state billed it $282,477 in legal fees and $2,725 in expenses between May 29 and Aug. 31.