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ADF appeals illegal abortion funding in Colorado

Planned_Parenthood_of_the_Rocky_Mountains_in_Denver_CO_Credit_File_Photo_CNA_CNA_10_18_13 (1)

Alliance Defending Freedom is taking the case against unlawful taxpayer abortion funding in Colorado to the state Court of Appeals.

ADF Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton will be arguing on behalf of Jane Norton, former executive director of the state health department, in a lawsuit against the state’s $14 million payment to Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood which Norton alleges is subsidizing abortions.

“American taxpayer money should go to fund local community health centers, not to subsidize a scandal-ridden, billion-dollar abortion business like Planned Parenthood,” Michael Norton said. “This is especially true here in Colorado, where the voters adopted a state constitutional provision that expressly prohibits the direct or indirect funding of abortions.”

Colorado’s 1984 Abortion Funding Prohibition Amendment to the state constitution forbids “use of public funds by the State of Colorado or any of its agencies or political subdivisions to pay or reimburse, directly or indirectly, any person, agency, or facility for any induced abortion.” In 2001, the state health department audited the state’s Planned Parenthood branch and determined their public subsidies were funding abortions, leading them to end the funding.

However, Jane Norton’s lawsuit alleges that state officials illegally resumed the funding in 2009, and have directed $14 million to the abortion giant since then.

A lower court dismissed the case on the grounds that no “specific” abortion service was proven to have received direct aid, which Michael Norton dismisses as a “technicality” because the amendment forbids indirect funding as well. Oral arguments for his appeal will take place this week.

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