by Steven Ertelt
January 25, 2006
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — A Kansas judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by state Attorney General Phill Kline for the state legislature concerning taxpayer funded abortions in cases of rape or incest. The judge dismissed the suit against pro-abortion Gov. Kathleen Sebelius saying she couldn’t be held accountable.
Shawnee County Judge David Bruns ruled that federal law requires the state to pay for abortions in such cases under the state’s Medicaid program.
After the state legislature passed a resolution asking him to do so, Kline filed the lawsuit saying that paying for the abortions violates the state constitution’s protection of the right to life and liberty.
The federal government permits, but doesn’t require, states to pay for abortions in cases of rape or incest or if a woman’s health is in danger — all extremely rare cases.
Kline said he would not appeal the decision.
“I do not plan to appeal the recent ruling unless directed to do so by a subsequent resolution passed by either chamber of the legislature,” Kline said in a statement.
According to an AP report, Bruns agreed with Sebelius’ attorneys who said the state must abide by federal law or risk losing its Medicaid funding. They had told Bruns 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.
But during a visit to the state last year, 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.
Bruns said Kansans who disagree with the federal law should write their members of Congress to complain.
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."
Medicaid funds in Kansas have paid for 10 abortions to the tune of $3,000. Over the last either years, the state has paid for 28 abortions, costing more than $8,000.
The Kansas House voted 70-50 in March 2002 for the resolution.