Colorado Bishop Blasts Ritter on Desire to Fund Planned Parenthood

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 17, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Colorado Bishop Blasts Ritter on Desire to Fund Planned Parenthood Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 17
, 2007

Denver, CO ( — A top Catholic Church official is blasting new Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter — who claims to be pro-life but is wanting to restore state funding to Planned Parenthood, the state’s largest abortion business. Archbishop Charles Chaput calls the idea "seriously flawed."

In a column the archbishop wrote in the Denver Catholic Register Chaput said he opposed the idea of restoring funding previous cut by the state legislature.

Playing on Governor Ritter’s State of the State comments that he wanted to promote health care to create "a better future for our children and our children’s children," Chaput said it’s hard to imagine that without children.

"Planned Parenthood specializes in the business of preventing them," he wrote in the Catholic paper.

Ritter received a standing ovation from some lawmakers during the speech last week when he mentioned that he wanted to restore funding to the abortion business’ family planning programs.

Though the money would go to the Planned Parenthood abortion business, a spokesman for the governor told the Rocky Mountain News he’s not in favor of taxpayer funding of abortions.

"I think the archbishop and the governor share a desire to find a common ground," Dreyer said. "The governor does believe that it’s good public policy to prevent unintended pregnancies before they occur."

The state legislature cut the pro-abortion group’s funding in 2001 after lawmakers pointed out that it was using the money to subsidize abortions. That came after former Colorado Gov. Bill Owens ruled in 1999 the such funding would violate the state constitution.

The decision ultimately cost Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, a $16 million organization, $320,000 in state funds.

The abortion business argued that money for abortions and family planning were separate but an independent audit disputed those claims.

Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Kate Horle told the News that the abortion business doesn’t want to separate into two groups in order to try to better qualify for the funds.

"The high cost of that restructuring probably doesn’t make it a smart move," Horle said.

In previous comments, Ritter said Planned Parenthood would have to keep the money, intended for sex education programs, separate from its abortion activities. However, pro-life advocates argue the taxpayer grants merely free up funds for abortions the agency would otherwise use on family planning efforts.

PPRM came under fire in June for a plan to give away free morning after pills to mark its opposition to a measure Owens vetoed that would have allowed women to get the Plan B drug without a prescription.

The group also upset pro-life advocates in February when it lobbied lawmakers to defeat legislation that would have protected pregnant women and their babies before birth by allowing criminals who assault them and kill or injure their child to be prosecuted for two crimes.

In October 2003, Colorado prosecutors were upset that they could not charge a man in the death of an unborn child because the state has no law that allows prosecutors to hold him responsible.

Daniel Self, 46, was charged with killing a pregnant woman but couldn’t be charged in the death of her unborn son. At a hearing, District Judge Gil Martinez dismissed a charge of child abuse resulting in death.

Leah Gee, Self’s girlfriend, died two days after she was shot and her son was delivered by doctors via Caesarian section. He died two weeks later form complications.

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