Catholic dioceses support of Kansas Medicaid expansion depends on abortion changes

November 14, 2019 - 7:43 pm

Catholic dioceses in Kansas will not support expanding Medicaid unless the state passes a constitutional amendment and new laws restricting abortions.

Chuck Weber, executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference, told a House and Senate committee Wednesday the state’s four Catholic dioceses want an amendment to the Kansas Constitution to clarify that it does not include a right to abortion. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled last year the constitution does protect the right to abortion. The diocese also is seeking a law allowing medical professionals or health facilities to decline to perform certain procedures for religious reasons.

The committee held two days of hearings on expanding Medicaid health insurance to 130,000 low-income adults and children in Kansas.

Rep. Brenda Landwehr, a Wichita Republican who leads the committee, said it will not recommend a Medicaid expansion bill to next year’s Legislature.

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