Though the moral cost of abortion is rightly the primary focus of pro-life activists, it’s also worth noting that the “right to choose” and its various penumbras impose a more literal cost on society as well. The Kansas City Star reports that the state of Kansas has paid almost $597,000 this year to defend pro-life laws against legal assault:
The office says it paid nearly $317,000 to Foulston Siefken, a Wichita firm helping defend a budget provision denying federal family planning dollars for non-abortion services to Planned Parenthood. The group has a federal lawsuit against the measure.
The attorney general’s office paid almost $177,000 to Thompson, Ramsdell & Qualseth, of Lawrence, to help defend health and safety regulations for abortion providers. Two Kansas City-area physicians challenged the rules first in federal court and then in state court.
The same law firm also received nearly $104,000 for work in a federal lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union against a law restricting private insurance coverage for elective abortions.
This is insane. There is no reason why states should be legally compelled to accept federal taxpayer money for abortion providers. There is no reason why states shouldn’t be able to prefer to contract with medical service providers who aren’t involved with abortion. And especially considering how many government regulations we tolerate without litigation in every – and I do mean every – other aspect of our lives, there is no reason abortion clinics or insurance coverage regulations should stand out as grounds for legal conflict.
Thanks to the convoluted legal framework the Supreme Court has forced on American abortion law and our country’s sue-happy culture, pro-aborts hit us coming and going: according to the rules, we can’t simply ban abortion, but if we try to play within those rules, we get sued. In their infinite selfishness, abortion supporters think nothing of exploiting every trick they can find to undo the results whenever democratic processes don’t go their way, and they couldn’t care less how much they cost the taxpayers in doing so. Abortion: because only a religious nut would think “choice” means voting!
Obviously, overturning Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton would go a long way toward dismantling the judicial sophistry on which these lawsuits rest, but as we’ve discussed before, that’s a big if largely out of our hands. It would be easier for Congress to strip abortion out of the various federal health care programs and subsidies, but that would still leave states like Kansas at the mercy of the federal government.
There is, however, one reform states could enact on their own which would be completely immune from federal abortion laws and rulings: loser-pays rules. If Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and their pals knew that they’d have to cover the legal fees of any case they initiated and lost, it would force them to be far more judicious in deciding when to pick a fight, and it would decrease the likelihood of punishing taxpayers for the aggression of special-interest groups. It’s about time we made the left take some responsibility in exercising their own right to choose.