Donate to Planned Parenthood and piss off a Kansas state senator

Sen. Steve Fitzgerald

Sen. Steve Fitzgerald

Kansas Sen. Steve Fitzgerald is a harsh opponent of abortion. But he made a big mistake irritating Ali Weinel of Prairie Village.

He also should not have compared Planned Parenthood to a Nazi concentration camp.

And he definitely should have ignored that “thank you” letter he got from Planned Parenthood.

Fitzgerald couldn’t do any of that, however, which means he likely will financially aid the “enemy” at Planned Parenthood even more in coming days.

It all started when Weinel reached out in early February to Fitzgerald and other lawmakers who are sponsoring yet another bill to make it harder to get an abortion in Kansas. Weinel and Fitzgerald exchanged correspondence in which he wrote in one email I saw that said, “Killing children is always a bad idea.”

Part of Weinel’s response was this: “Please let me know the next time you become pregnant.”

“I didn’t appreciate how he spoke to me,” Weinel said in an interview Monday.

Saying she felt “frustrated” by Fitzgerald, she decided to make a $25 contribution in Fitzgerald’s name to the Planned Parenthood Great Plains branch in support of its family planning services.

The group sent Fitzgerald a note informing him of that fact — and the Leavenworth Republican sent this angry letter in reply:


Fitzgerald’s inane comparison of Planned Parenthood to a Nazi concentration camp resulted in a tweet last week from the Planned Parenthood group about  the incident.

It read in part: “Sen. Fitzgerald did NOT appreciate having a donation to @PPGreatPlains made in his honor. Just FYI.”

Then came the news story Monday — and more lame statements from the senator in The Kansas City Star:

“Asked Monday if he was saying Planned Parenthood was worse than the Nazis, Fitzgerald said ‘oh yeah.’ ‘What I’m saying is, they’re both exterminating innocent human life,’ Fitzgerald said.”

Bonyen Lee-Gilmore, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Great Plains, told me Monday that Ali “engaged in an email exchange with Sen. Fitzgerald after reading about SB98/HB2319 – the so-called Font bill. His replies were so nasty and inflammatory, she made a donation in his name. We then sent him a letter, as we always do when people make a donation in someone’s honor. He replied with the angry letter you saw on Twitter.”

SB98 is the pending bill that the American Civil Liberties Union and other opponents point out is a bid by Kansas politicians to unduly interfere with a woman’s right to decide whether she wants to have an abortion.

The ACLU said: “The clear intent of the bill’s provisions is to harass medical professionals and women; none of its provisions even marginally advance or ensure the health or safety of women seeking medical care.” It’s sometimes called the “font” bill because, as the ACLU pointed out, it “institutes requirements on the typeface, type size, and type color of forms distributed by doctors. The state does not micromanage any other health care provider to such a degree.”

In her exchange with Fitzgerald, Weinel made an excellent point as well: “Abortion will happen regardless of what font size or color paper you force doctors to list their qualifications. I suggest making sure out state has a balanced budget and that our schools are guaranteed to be opened on time before you worry about forcing more regulations on something just because you don’t like it.”

So be warned, people: It appears that donating to Planned Parenthood in his name is a great way to piss off a certain Kansas state senator.