Missouri Judge: Planned Parenthood Must Pay Back State Funds

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 8, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 8, 2005

Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — A Missouri judge has ordered two Planned Parenthood abortion businesses to pay back over $650,000 in public funds back to the state. The abortion facilities indicate they will appeal the decision.

County Circuit Judge Werner Moentmann ruled that a prohibition on state family planning dollars going to affiliates of abortion businesses was constitutional.

The battle over the money has gone on for years and a similar lawsuit made its way to the state Supreme Court before being dismissed. The state’s high court did not rule on the arguments in the case.

Moentmann’s decision is the third time a judge has said the abortion business was not entitled to the money.

According to an AP report, Gov. Matt Blunt praised the ruling, saying it was "very encouraging to see a court embracing the culture of life that Missourians hold dear."

"This is great news for all pro-life taxpayers in the state," said Samuel Lee of Campaign Life Missouri, whose statement was distributed by the Catholic Conference.

"If the ruling stands on appeal, Missouri will be completely out of the business of directly or indirectly subsidizing the abortion industry."

The state stopped awarding the family planning grants last year and Planned Parenthood received no money in the state’s 2005 annual budget.

House Budget Committee Chairman Carl Beardon, a St. Charles Republican, commented o the need to ax the family planning money out of the budget because of the problems with abortion businesses receiving funds.

"It’s unfortunate we have to take such a regulatory stand to protect life. It shouldn’t be necessary, but it is," Beardon explained.

Former Governor Bob Holden requested that the legislature change its mind on the funding.