Catholic dioceses pin Medicaid expansion on abortion changes

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – 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 Topeka Capital-Journal reports 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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