WASHINGTON -- Some Democratic senators are asking a top government health official to warn states that if they try to exclude family planning clinics like Planned Parenthood from Medicaid and Title X funding, they'll face penalties from the federal government.

A group of 30 senators sent a letter Thursday to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. It cites a law recently approved in Indiana that 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.

The Department of Health and Human Services did not have a comment on the letter, but the agency is expected to address the issue soon.