By John Celock
The Kansas House of Representatives defeated a measure that would have denied state Medicaid funds being used at Planned Parenthood.
The House voted 49-72 to defeat an amendment proposed by Rep. Chuck Weber (R-Wichita) to legislation that would enact the Medicaid expansion in the state. Weber said that he wanted to ensure that funds were used on a wide range of women’s health options and not just abortions.
“We are saying if you want to care for women you have to do more than a few select things,” Weber said.
The amendment did not specifically mention Planned Parenthood but Weber made reference to the organization several times during the floor debate on his amendment. The proposal could have impacted other medical groups as well.
“Planned Parenthood views fertility as something to be suppressed,” Weber said. “Planned Parenthood views children as something to be eliminated.”
House Democratic Agenda Chairman Brandon Whipple (D-Wichita) questioned Weber if he knew that the Planned Parenthood in Wichita did not perform abotions on site. He also asked if Weber was familiar with the group’s work.
“I don’t know what they do there,” Weber said.
Planned Parenthood Great Plains tweeted that they are willing to provide Weber a tour of the facility.
House Minority Whip Ed Trimmer (D-Winfield) questioned Weber if he knew that Planned Parenthood did not receive funding in the state currently. He said he wanted to make sure that continued in the future.
Weber stressed that he wanted to see the Medicaid expansion to be pro-life in nature. He noted that he is “all for sex education.” Planned Parenthood took to Twitter to say they would be willing to work with Weber on sex education issues.
“This is a pro-life amendment,” Weber said. “If we are going to expand Medicaid let’s make it pro-life.”