December 6, 2011 — Kansas has amassed $392,520 in legal bills in the last six months for the defense of new laws restricting abortion rights and family planning funding, the Kansas City Star reports.
The state spent $237,834 on lawyers to defend a law that blocks federal family planning funding from going to Planned Parenthood affiliates, $94,380 to defend new rules for abortion clinics and $60,306 to defend a new law that prohibits insurers from covering elective abortion care in comprehensive health plans. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt (R) previously said the state needed to hire outside law firms to assist in the cases because government attorneys have their hands full with other cases.
State Sen. Kelly Kultala (D) said, "It seems like a lot of money in six months," adding that the state should be spending the money "on other issues that are important to Kansans, like creating jobs and putting people back to work."
Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, said, "Those claiming it is unfair to use state money to defend these laws are wrong. It would be unfair not to" (Cooper, Kansas City Star, 12/4).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.