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Monday, December 09, 2019

Another State Joins Attacks on Planned Parenthood

Following the lead of several other states, New Hampshire cancelled funding for Planned Parenthood that had already been allocated in the state’s budget. Even though laws seeking to deny the organization funding failed in the state legislature, the state’s five-person executive council, which has the power to regulate state contracts, decided to act on its own. State funds accounted for roughly 20% of the organization’s budget.

Indiana, Montana, Texas, and, most recently, North Carolina have passed laws denying any state funds to Planned Parenthood. The organization is in the process of suing several of these states, arguing that recent laws unfairly single out their group. A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, Tait Sye, told ABC News:

“The reality is that it has nothing to do with abortion at all. What these laws are saying is these women can’t go to Planned Parenthood and get care for birth control or cancer screenings,” he said.

Perhaps no law, though, rivals the one that recently passed in Kansas, which imposes exceedingly burdensome restrictions on hospitals that provide abortions. Among its more arcane regulations, the new law dictates the temperature of waiting rooms must be between 68 and 73 degrees and that janitors’ closets must be at least 50 square feet. Several Kansas abortion providers have called the rules arbitrary and unfair, designed simply to keep them from operating.

“There is absolutely no way that they could have complied with those requirements,” argued Teresa Woody, an attorney representing two affected abortion providers in Kansas. “There is an undue burden both on the doctors and the patients.”

U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia issued a temporary injunction on the controversial abortion law that recently passed the state legislature, until the Court issues a judgment on the law.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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