Kansas paid $899,000 in effort to defund Planned Parenthood

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The state of Kansas paid outside law firms at least $899,000 in an unsuccessful attempt to defund Planned Parenthood.

KCUR reports records it obtained through an open records request show the state paid three high-powered East Coast law firms to defend its case for nearly three years before Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's administration dropped the effort in April.

Planned Parenthood sued the state after then-Gov. Sam Brownback vowed to defund the organization. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment notified the organization in May 2016 that its Medicaid contract would be ending.

Invoices from the law firms redacted descriptions of what services the attorneys performed.

Health department attorney Katelyn Radloff told KCUR the redacted information involved the attorney-client privilege exception to the Kansas Open Records Act.