Colorado Pro-Life Advocates File Lawsuit to Overturn $18 Million in Abortion Funds
by Steven Ertelt
October 29, 2008
Denver, CO (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life advocates in Colorado have filed a lawsuit to overturn $18 million in what they consider illegal contracts awarded over the last year to a Planned Parenthood affiliate and a Boulder abortion business. Gov. Bill Ritter put the contracts in place despite campaigning as a pro-life Democrat.
The lawsuit, filed by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of Colorado taxpayer Mark Hotaling, contends five contracts which Ritter and the executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Jim Martin, awarded to two abortion centers, unconstitutionally use taxpayer funds to subsidize abortion.
Public officials cannot toss aside the democratic process and the rule of law, ADF-allied attorney Barry Arrington of the Arvada law firm Arrington & Associates, P.C., told LifeNews.com Wednesday.
The governor and other state officials are not at liberty to ignore the will of the people on this matter. Colorado voters amended the state constitution to prohibit tax dollar subsidies to abortion providers," Arrington added.
In 1984, Colorado voters approved the Abortion Funding Prohibition Amendment to the Colorado Constitution, which prohibits the direct or indirect use of public funds to pay for abortion.
In 2001, the Health Department, under then-Executive Director Jane Norton, conducted an audit of the operations of Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood and its affiliate Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Services Corporation. The department ended funding for Planned Parenthood after finding that it indirectly subsidized the abortion operations of its subsidiary.
Under Ritter and Martin, however, the department disregarded the ruling and awarded five funding contracts to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Services Corporation and Boulder Valley Womens Health Center – both abortion businesses.
The funding of their abortion operations is in direct violation of the Abortion Funding Prohibition Amendment, ADF alleges.
The lawsuit asks the court to declare that the contracts violate the Colorado Constitution and to prohibit the Colorado Department of Health from awarding further contracts to the two abortion centers.
The people of Colorado felt strongly that no taxpayer should be forced to pay for a procedure that takes innocent human life, so they amended the state constitution to put a stop to it, ADF senior legal counsel H. Aden added. Apparently, Gov. Ritter felt so strongly to the contrary that he was willing to ignore the law and circumvent the will of the people to impose public funding for abortion on demand.
The complaint filed with the District Court for the City and County of Denver, Colorado, in Hotaling v. Ritter is available at the ADF web site.
Related web sites:
Alliance Defense Fund – https://www.alliancedefensefund.org
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