by Steven Ertelt
January 10, 2006
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — A Kansas judge held a hearing on a motion by Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius seeking to strike down a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Phill Kline, who is seeking a court order preventing the state from paying for abortions through its Medicaid program for poor residents who are victims of rape or incest.
Attorney Nick Badgerow, for Sebelius, asked County District Court Judge David Burns to dismiss the lawsuit. He said there are problems with the case because Kline runs the Crime Victims Reparations Board, which could pay for abortions for women who are victims of rape.
Kline says the abortions should not be paid for with taxpayer dollars because it violates the Kansas state constitution by involving the state in the destruction of human life "without due process of law."
Badgerow told Judge Burns that federal law requires regulations to pay for such abortions through the Medicaid program.
"It has to be medically necessary as defined by regulations," Badgerow said, according to an AP report. He said that Medicaid funds in Kansas have paid for 10 abortions to the tune of $3,000.
He also claimed that refusing to pay for the abortions would put $1.32 billion in federal dollars at risk that are a part of the state’s $2.2 billion in Medicaid funding.
Sebelius, a pro-abortion Democrat, opposes Kline’s lawsuit, which he says he filed on behalf of state lawmakers who approved a measure asking him to do so.
Kline’s lawsuit says spending taxpayers’ money on the rare abortions violates the state Constitution and its protection of "inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The lawsuit comes after the state legislature approved a measure calling on the state’s attorney general to file it.
In a written statement, Kline responded, “If the governor wants us to dismiss the suit, she should ask the House of Representatives to rescind the resolution."
Over the last either years, the state has paid for 28 abortions, costing more than $8,000.
Should the lawsuit proceed, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt says it wouldn’t put the federal funds at risk.
"I feel optimistic it does not, and we’ll learn more as time goes on," Leavitt said in August.
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.