- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

SALINA, Kan. (AP) - The Saline County Commission has refused to reconsider a vote rejecting a grant to provide a type of birth control to county residents.

The commission in May rejected a $6,064 grant through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment that would fund intrauterine devices after Commissioner John Price called IUDs “murder,” claiming they could cause an abortion. The commission was strongly criticized, and it said it would reconsider its vote.

But after listening to testimony during a hearing, commissions decided again Tuesday to reject the grant, The Salina Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1pG3svO ).

Dr. David Dupy, a physician for the county health department, told the commission the small devices, which are placed inside a uterus by a doctor, are “not abortive.” He noted that by law, the grant cannot be used for programs where abortion is a method of family planning.

Bronson Farmer, director of the county health department, and the department’s nurse practitioner, Jeanette Peroli, joined Dupy in supporting the grant. Farmer said would fund about 20 birth control devices.

“For those 20 people, this is very important,” he said. “This isn’t just $6,000 to them. This is their life and potentially generations down the line.”

Dr. Amy Hogan told the commission that the IUD doesn’t stop ovulation but prevents the uterus from accepting a fertilized egg. She said the device “irritates the uterus,” making it inhospitable to a newly fertilized egg and preventing a pregnancy.

After listening to the testimony, the commission’s three members again decided to reject the grant.

“We have talked to people. We’ve listened. I think we are pretty final on the position,” said Randy Duncan, the commission’s chairman.

Price dismissed the concern of an audience member who said none of the commission members had a medical background.

“We are the health board,” Price said. “We are the three decision-makers.”

Dupy said the county needed “a health board made up of medical professionals” and that such a decision should be made by medical professionals.

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Information from: The Salina (Kan.) Journal, http://www.salina.com