Lawmaker slams attempts to tie abortion, Medicaid bills

Anti-abortion lawmakers falsely claim expanding Medicaid would lead to increase in taxpayer-funded abortions. Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning says 'there is NO link.'


State News

February 14, 2020 - 4:07 PM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A top Republican lawmaker in Kansas on Friday disputed the claims of GOP colleagues that a bipartisan plan to expand the state’s Medicaid program would lead to taxpayers funding elective abortions.

Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, a Kansas City-area Republican, sent an email to senators decrying what he called “inaccurate verbal and written statements” used to justify opposition among anti-abortion lawmakers and groups to the expansion plan he drafted with Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly.

Abortion opponents want to pass an amendment to the Kansas Constitution declaring that its Bill of Rights does not “secure” the right to an abortion, overturning a state Supreme Court decision last year. The measure passed the Senate but failed in the House, and its backers, led by Senate President Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican, are promising to block any debate on Medicaid expansion until the proposed amendment is put on the ballot for voters’ possible approval.

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