March 25 (Reuters) - A federal appeals court panel on Tuesday upheld a 2011 Kansas law that would stop federal family planning money the state receives from flowing to two Planned Parenthood clinics.
The ruling overturned a Kansas federal judge’s preliminary injunction that stopped the state from eliminating the federal funding to family planning clinics Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri operates in Wichita and Hays.
No abortion services are provided at the health centers and Planned Parenthood has said they would lose more than $330,000 in funding, their eligibility for a low-cost drug-purchasing program and it likely would lead to the Hays clinic closing.
Planned Parenthood said it was reviewing its options after the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and remained committed to Kansas women and their families.
A spokesman said Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt was pleased by the ruling. “We will continue to defend Kansas law in regards to any further challenges,” spokesman Clint Blaes said in an emailed statement.
The Kansas law limits the entities that can receive funding the state allocates out of federal government subsidies it receives for family planning services to low-income residents.
Planned Parenthood argued in a federal lawsuit that the state law violated federal law and penalized the organization for associating with abortion providers and advocating for access to abortion services.
“Planned Parenthood’s theory raises the prospect of every loser in a political battle claiming that enactment of legislation it opposed was motivated by hostility toward the loser’s speech,” Judge Harris Hartz wrote.
Judge Carlos Lucero in dissent said the federal judge’s decision was well-grounded in fact and free of error. (Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis)