Fifth in the Amici series
In the Amicus, Gov. Bevin is accused by our AG of seeking to place in his budget “a provision excluding state funding for any ‘affiliate’ of abortion facilities, which caused [U of L Hospital’s parent company] KentuckyOne* to believe that its state funding would be jeopardized by a transfer agreement (TA) between U of L Hospital and any abortion clinic.” (In business law an affiliate is not part of the company with whom it affiliates. Thus, unless UofL Hospital owned Planned Parenthood or vice versa, there is no formal affiliation that could be stated. By law, an affiliate of PP would be a direct subsidiary.)
The media carried a false story that the Governor’s office had pressured UofL to cancel its TA with Planned Parenthood. During the trial, representatives of KentuckyOne stated categorically that no one in the Bevin administration had pressured them to cancel the TA.
Kentucky’s attorneys brought out that the state is not opposed whatsoever to TAs —which state law requires; it was simply a matter that the existing TAs were not legal documents. How would a contract with a hospital department be legal? (See post 2 of the series.)
Kentucky law also states that public funds may not go toward paying for abortion services. This statute was on the books as early as 1980. Thus, UofL Hospital does not perform abortions but, needless to say, it would be lawful for it to assist in saving the life of a woman who was damaged by an abortion.
In 2017 the “no public funds for abortion” statute was revised to permit re-ordering of who is eligible for funds, and this year President Trump further adjusted that policy so TAs may be the least of PP’s worries at this time.
The Trump Administration’s new final regulations for the federal Title X family planning program make significant changes to the program and will:
- Block the availability of federal funds to family planning providers that also offer abortion services;
- Prohibit sites that participate in Title X from referring pregnant clients to abortion providers;
- Eliminate current requirements for Title X sites to provide non-directive pregnancy options counseling that includes information about prenatal care/delivery, adoption, and abortion;
- Prioritize providers that offer comprehensive primary health care services over those that specialize in reproductive health services; and
- Encourage participation by “non-traditional” organizations such as those that only offer one method of family planning, such as fertility awareness-based methods.
The American Medical Association, AGs of many states, PP, and others have filed suit in federal court to block the new Title X regulations, stating that they violate the Constitution and federal law.
And on it goes.
*In June 2017 the UofL Hospital split from KentuckyOne and currently is managed by UofL’s University Medical Center.