Police twice shut down a press conference by the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Wednesday in Topeka.

The civil rights groups planned on delivering tires to State Rep. PeteDeGraaf (R-Mulvane) for his comments during a discussion about whether insurance should cover abortions.

DeGraff had suggested that women should plan ahead and purchase separateabortion-only insurance policies saying, "I have a spare tire on my car." "I also have life insurance," he added. "I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for.”

Despite receiving permission in advance, NOW says they were initially blocked from entering the statehouse with the tires. The group says it was given the go-ahead to bring the tires to the Capitol steps. NOW also says they received permission from the Capitol Police to set up outside the Housechamber.

Police dispute this and say they were deceived about what NOW planned to do in the building.  “They went up to the House side and set up their dirty tires,” said Lt. Hatcher.

An officer then came and removed the tires and said told the group they were not allowed to have the tires in the building.

At eleven Wednesday morning, NOW set up their press conference on the South steps as originally planned. Security initially refused to allow the group to set up the tires, but backed down after State Senator David Haley (D-Kansas City) intervened.

Police said they didn’t interfere in the protest on the steps and denied they asked the group to remove the tires. Video from our news partners at KTKA-TV shows police telling NOW leaders to get rid of the tires.

When asked to provide the policy on what items are allowed in the Statehouse and on the capitol steps, the Department of Administration and Capitol Police said they would provide a copy, but later said a formal records request was needed.