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Colo. illegally funding abortions with taxpayer dollars

State records: $14 million provided to Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood in violation of state constitution

DENVER — Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing the former executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health filed suit Thursday over $14 million in taxpayer dollars that the state has provided to Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood. The funding violates a voter-approved state constitutional amendment that prohibits the direct or indirect public subsidizing of abortion.

“Public officials should respect the law and the democratic process rather than ignore both to fill Planned Parenthood’s bank account,” said Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton. “Colorado voters already decided the issue when they amended the state constitution to prohibit tax-dollar subsidies to abortionists. State records clearly show that state officials have provided both federal and state taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood in clear violation of the state constitution.”

In 1984, Colorado voters approved the Abortion Funding Prohibition Amendment and later rejected an initiative to repeal it. The Colorado Department of Public Health audited Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood and its affiliate Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Services Corporation in 2001 and subsequently ended funding to them after finding that state funds were indirectly subsidizing their abortion operations. State officials later ignored that determination and resumed funding, claiming that the funds only consisted of federal taxpayer dollars.

The complaint filed in Norton v. Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood with the state district court in Denver explains that new public records requests and research demonstrate conclusively that the government has used and is using state taxpayer dollars. The lawsuit also contends that federal taxpayer dollars that the state administers are also off limits to abortionists.

As the lawsuit explains, “since about January 15, 2009 to the present date, the Colorado Government Defendants and other Colorado government agencies have provided approximately $14 million in public funds to Defendant Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood and thereby have, in violation of Colorado’s Abortion Funding Prohibition Amendment, directly or indirectly subsidized Planned Parenthood Services’ abortion operations.”

Barry Arrington of Centennial and Natalie Decker of Littleton, two of nearly 2,300 attorneys allied with Alliance Defending Freedom, are co-counsel in the case.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.


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