Senate Majority Leader
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
Anti-abortion lawmakers and groups argued this week that a
But Denning, who supports the proposed amendment on abortion, wrote in his email, “there is NO link." He said under a section of the Medicaid expansion bill that pregnant women specifically would not be covered by the expanded part of the program but by the state's traditional Medicaid health coverage for the needy.
“The Legislators and organizations who think that state funds could be used for the funding of abortions would need to repeal traditional Medicaid coverage in Kansas,” Denning wrote. “Repealing traditional Medicaid, however, would also repeal coverage for the most vulnerable.”
Blocking Medicaid expansion is designed to pressure four moderate
Since the House vote last week, committees in both chambers have had hearings allowing abortion opponents to expand on their arguments that without the constitutional amendment, the state faces taxpayer-funded abortions, particularly if Medicaid covers up to an additional 150,000 people as proposed.
“Government funding of abortions is one of the things most at risk by this decision,”
Some abortion opponents who oppose Medicaid expansion argue it would encourage women to leave private health insurance plans for state coverage. The non-partisan
“If we don't pass the amendment, then we will have Medicaid-funded abortions,” said state Rep.
Senate Minority Leader
“They're not tied together,” Hensley said.
The Medicaid expansion plan also would start a program Denning has advocated aimed at cutting private insurance premiums to keep people from abandoning private plans for Medicaid.
Expansion supporters also point to the support of the Roman Catholic bishops of