New reports show that Kansas has paid more than $913,000 to defend anti-abortion laws, with experts saying it’s not likely to stop there.
The laws have gotten a lot of pushback from pro-choice groups since Republican Governor Sam Brownback enacted them after he took office in January of 2011. While Kansas hasn’t made abortion illegal in the early weeks of pregnancy like other states have, it has put several restrictions on it, including blocking tax breaks for services providing abortions and monitoring what appears on their websites.
One law from 2011 is preventing the state from distributing federal funds to Planned Parenthood for non-abortion services, but a current lawsuit is trying to reverse that.
Peter Brownlie, president of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, says that the amount of money the state has spent to defend anti-abortion laws shows that the government doesn’t care as much about good spending as they do about making political statements.
“Many legislators knew at the time that they passed these laws, either they were unconstitutional or had been ruled against in other states,” says Brownlie. “It’s a travesty that Kansans are spending $913,000 on things that don’t benefit the state in any way.”
Pro-life groups say that the money would not have to be spent if pro-choice groups had not filed suit to reverse the anti-abortion laws, but pro-choice groups defend their pushback against the legislation. The state is expected to spend more money defending the laws over time.