Saline Co. to reconsider birth control grant rejection

Saline County Health Department (KSN File Photo)

SALINA, Kansas — The Saline County Commission will reconsider its decision to reject a state grant for contraceptives that one commissioner said would be like accepting money for murder.

The commission’s decision came after Tuesday’s meeting where the community was strongly critical of their vote last week to reject a $6,064 grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for intrauterine devices, or IUDs.

At the May 20 Saline County Commission meeting, Commissioner John Price had this to say about accepting the grant: “It’s murder to take this money from the federal government. It’s only $6,000 but to me its murder and I’m not going to stand for it.”

“I think the appropriate action is simply to take the check from the KDHE and say thank you very much,” said Salina City Commissioner Randall Hardy.

Now an already growing effort to add two members to the county commission to add diversity is gaining momentum.

“The petition we’re circulating is to increase the commission from 3 to 5 members,” said Janice Norlin, community activist.

Norlin said that the commission has an obligation to provide for women’s health in Saline County.

Commissioners agreed to study the issue further and take another vote next Tuesday.

Commissioners voted unanimously last week to reject the grant after Commissioner John Price said the IUDs could cause an abortion.

John Price released this statement to KSN: “If someone wants to use birth control of their choice that’s fine. But the county doesn’t need to be funding this. I’m not telling people what to do but I’m not giving my stamp of approval. ”

At a public hearing on Tuesday, two physicians told the commission that IUDs prevent pregnancies, rather than ending a pregnancy that has already begun.

The petition to add two members to the commission currently has more than 1500 signatures. It needs 1600 to prompt any action.

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