by Steven Ertelt
August 19, 2005
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline has filed a lawsuit against pro-abortion Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to obtain a court order preventing the state from paying for abortions through its Medicaid program for poor residents.
Kline’s lawsuit says spending taxpayers’ money on abortions violates the state Constitution and its protection of "inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
There is no word on how many abortions are currently paid for in Kansas with state funds. The Medicaid program is intended to provide health care to low-income Kansans.
Rep. Lance Kinzer, a Republican lawmaker from Olathe, told the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper he filed the lawsuit on Kline’s behalf and said Kline appointed him special counsel in the case.
"I was asked to bring a suit to determine whether there is a conflict to using state funds, through Medicaid, for abortions," Kinzer said.
He told the Lawrence paper that for the case to be successful "there has to be a determination that the unborn baby qualifies as a person in Kansas’ Bill of Rights."
Kinzer filed the lawsuit in Shawnee County with District Judge Terry Bullock and it names Sebelius, Secretary of Administration Duane Goossen and Bob Day, the director of the governor’s health policy division.
Kline took the action in response to legislation approved by the state legislature authorizing the attorney general to get a binding court ruling on whether it is appropriate for the state to pay for abortions.
Sebelius spokesperson Nicole Corcoran blasted the lawsuit and told the Lawrence newspaper, "The state of Kansas is required to follow federal law, which restricts Medicaid funding (for abortion) to three areas only: In the cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is threatened."
"To comply with these requirements would jeopardize the health care dollars Kansas receives from Medicaid which totaled $1.2 billion last year alone," Cocoran added.
According to state figures, seven abortions have qualified for Medicaid reimbursement in the 2005 federal fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The state’s cost totaled $1,907.92.
Over the last either years, the state has paid for 28 abortions, costing more than $8,000.
Kline’s lawsuit also seeks to have the court declare that life begins at conception when "a new, unique and genetically distinct human being is formed, distinct from its host while dependent upon her."
The Kansas House voted 70-50 in March 2002 to ask the attorney general to ask the state Supreme Court to declare that life begins at conception.