Kansas governor orders Planned Parenthood funding cut

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Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has ordered state officials to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood and its affiliates through the state Medicaid program, a move the organization said on Wednesday it would challenge in court.

Brownback, a Republican, said in his state of the state address on Tuesday that he would direct the state health secretary to ensure that no taxpayer money go to Planned Parenthood, which he said trafficked in baby body parts.

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"No longer will we send the money of hard-working Kansans to fund an industry that disrespects life and violates the moral conscience of our people," Brownback said in a statement.

The governor's statement was an apparent reference to videos secretly recorded by an anti-abortion group that activists said showed that Planned Parenthood officials in some states had discussed the sale of aborted fetal tissue.

Planned Parenthood has denied any illegal payments, calling the videos distortions of the issue of fetal-tissue donations. The organization has said it has received only reimbursements for its costs, which are legal under U.S. law.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said it would issue a termination letter to Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.

RELATED GALLERY: See photos of recent protests for and against Planned Parenthood

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Kansas governor orders Planned Parenthood funding cut
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 21: Right to Life advocate Linda Heilman prays during a sit-in in front of a proposed Planned Parenthood location while demonstrating the group's opposition to congressional funding of Planned Parenthood on September 21, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Right to Life groups who took part in the protest are also calling on Pope Francis to 'address the pro-life issue and the defunding of Planned Parenthood' when he addresses Congress on September 24. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 21: Right to Life advocate Linda Heilman (L) prays during a sit-in in front of a proposed Planned Parenthood location while demonstrating the group's opposition to congressional funding of Planned Parenthood on September 21, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Right to Life groups who took part in the protest are also calling on Pope Francis to 'address the pro-life issue and the defunding of Planned Parenthood' when he addresses Congress on September 24. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 21: Right to Life advocates block 4th St. N.E. during a sit-in in front of a proposed Planned Parenthood location while demonstrating the group's opposition to congressional funding of Planned Parenthood on September 21, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Right to Life groups who took part in the protest are also calling on Pope Francis to 'address the pro-life issue and the defunding of Planned Parenthood' when he addresses Congress on September 24. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 16: Protesters hold signs protesting Planned Parenthood in front of the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill September 16, 2015 in Washington, DC. Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition urged the Republican leadership not to give taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 28: Anti-abortion activists hold a rally opposing federal funding for Planned Parenthood in front of the U.S. Capitol July 28, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 28: Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson attends a anti-abortion rally opposing federal funding for Planned Parenthood in front of the U.S. Capitol July 28, 2015 in Washington, DC. Planned Parenthood faces mounting criticism amid the release of videos by a pro-life group and demands to vote in the Senate to stop funding. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 25: Director of Planned Parenthood of Utah Karrie Galloway speaks during Sex, Politics And Film Hosted By Lena Dunham And Planned Parenthood Action Fund - 2015 Park City at Wahso Asian Grill on January 25, 2015 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Sonia Recchia/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 28: Anti-abortion activists hold a rally opposing federal funding for Planned Parenthood in front of the U.S. Capitol on July 28, 2015 in Washington, DC. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) announced a Senate deal to vote on legislation to defund Planned Parenthood before the Senate goes into recess in August. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 11: Women hold up signs during a women's pro-choice rally on Capitol Hill, July 11, 2013 in Washington, DC. The rally was hosted by Planned Parenthood Federation of America to urge Congress against passing any legislation to limit access to safe and legal abortion. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 11: Women hold up signs during a women's pro-choice rally on Capitol Hill, July 11, 2013 in Washington, DC. The rally was hosted by Planned Parenthood Federation of America to urge Congress against passing any legislation to limit access to safe and legal abortion. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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Laura McQuade, president and chief executive of the Kansas and Mid-Missouri Planned Parenthood, said the planned termination would result in a legal battle.

"Kansans and their health care providers are not Mr. Brownback's punching bag and we will fight back," McQuade said.

Federal funds cannot be used for abortions, but Planned Parenthood also provides Medicaid covered services such as contraception, cancer screening and other care.

Several states have sought to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood following the release of the videos. Courts have blocked some of those attempts at least temporarily in Utah, Louisiana, Alabama and other states.

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