The Planned Parenthood affiliate in Utah is challenging efforts by the state’s governor to defund the abortion business in a federal appeals court.
Specifically, Planned Parenthood considers the defunding to be “unconstitutional political retribution,” according to ABC News. Planned Parenthood lawyer Pegggy Tomsic told an appeals court Tuesday that if it upholds the governor’s decision, it would send the public the message that officials may “punish their political enemies for exercising their constitutional rights.”
The defunding came in the wake of evidence that Planned Parenthood has sold aborted babies’ body parts, a fact that Tyler Green of the Utah attorney general’s office used to justify the state government’s decision to withdraw funding.
“The governor has the right to end at-will contracts,” Green said.
Green’s statement was legitimized by U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups who ruled recently that the government can defund groups associated with illegal activity.
The appeals court did not say Tuesday whether it would force federal taxpayer money to flow to Planned Parenthood in an emergency order. The court did not indicate when the judges will make a decision, according to the report.
In August, Utah became the fifth state to defund Planned Parenthood in the wake of videos exposing its organ harvesting business. KUTV reported that the state health department found approximately $225,000 to take from the abortion giant’s budget.
Previously, Tom Hudachko of the Utah Department of Health said: “We are going to be eliminating all of those contracts or allowing some of them to expire. We can redistribute the money to other partners.”
A poll of Utah showed that only 37% of the state views the abortion giant in a favorable light, as previously reported on LifeNews.