Senators ask HHS to warn states who cut funding

By the Associated Press | May 26, 2011 | 6:45 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of 30 Democratic senators is telling Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius she should warn states that if they try to exclude family planning clinics like Planned Parenthood from Medicaid and Title X funding they with face penalties with the federal government.

The letter, sent Thursday, cites a law passed recently in Indiana, which excludes funding to Planned Parenthood. Other states are considering similar laws.

The senators write that such legislation is "in direct opposition" to congressional intent and contradicts "the spirit and the letter" of existing laws.

HHS did not have a comment on the letter, but the agency is expected to address the issue soon.