January 19, 2016 — The Kansas medical board will not take action against a Planned Parenthood facility after the board investigated and found no evidence that the organization engaged in improper fetal tissue donation, the AP/ San Francisco Chronicle reports (Hanna, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 1/14).
There are two Planned Parenthood facilities in Kansas, one of which provides abortion care. According to Elise Higgins, a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, the clinics receive about $61,000 in Medicaid funding annually for providing cancer screenings, contraception services and health exams.
Last year, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) asked the state medical board to investigate whether abortion providers in Kansas were selling fetal tissue. Abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, said they do not sell or donate fetal tissue in the state.
Brownback earlier this month announced plans to block Planned Parenthood from receiving state Medicaid funding. Meanwhile, under a law signed by Brownback in 2011, Planned Parenthood already is prohibitedfrom receiving federal family planning funding through the Kansas health department (Women's Health Policy Report, 1/13).
Medical Board Investigation Finds No Wrongdoing
The State Board of Healing Arts in a Jan. 7 letter to PPKM stated they had found no evidence of wrongdoing at the organization's Overland Park clinic. According to the AP/Chronicle, the letter was issued five days before Brownback announced his decision to block Planned Parenthood's Medicaid funding.
Laura McQuade, president and CEO of PPKM, also noted that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment inspected the clinic twice over the past nine months and found no violations.
McQuade said, "We absolutely feel vindicated by this." She noted, "The governor made knowingly false statements about Planned Parenthood and its practices," adding, "You can't make false allegations without there being repercussions."
Separately, state Sen. Laura Kelly (D) said, "I'm glad they've exonerated Planned Parenthood, and I hope people pay attention" (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 1/14).