The Danger Of Getting What You Didn’t Pay For

Inside the Issues with Alan Sears

Alan Sears, Esquire

ADF President, CEO, & General Counsel 

November 11, 2008

How would you like your tax dollars to go to those that kill unborn children?

It's been happening in Colorado – a violation not just of human decency but of the state's own constitution, which specifically prohibits the government from directing tax dollars to businesses and agencies that provide abortions.

Nearly 25 years ago, Colorado voters approved an amendment to the Colorado Constitution prohibiting the use of public funds – even indirectly – to pay for abortion. Based on that amendment, seven years ago the Colorado Health Department ended its funding for the state's Planned Parenthood clinics and subsidiaries, which regularly supply abortions.

However, in recent months, current Governor Bill Ritter and the executive director of the state's Department of Public Health and Environment, Jim Martin, have made a deliberate choice to ignore that amendment, awarding five funding contracts – totaling $18 million – to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Services Corporation and Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center, both of which provide abortions.

On October 29, Alliance Defense Fund attorneys and allied attorneys filed suit on behalf of Colorado taxpayer Mark Hotaling, asking a Colorado court to cancel those contracts, declare them a violation of the state constitution, and prohibit the state from awarding any further contracts to the two abortion providers (The complaint, filed as Hotaling v. Ritter, is available here.)

"Public officials cannot toss aside the democratic process and the rule of law," said lead counsel and ADF-allied attorney Barry Arrington of the Arvada law firm Arrington & Associates, P.C. "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."

Indeed, this case is about more than the government-sanctioned and subsidied taking of innocent lives – it's about state officials who deliberately, calculatedly ignore state law and the will of the people.

"The people of Colorado felt strongly that no taxpayer should be forced to pay money for those that take innocent human life, so they amended the state constitution to put a stop to it," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Steven H. Aden. "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."

Please be in prayer for elected leaders across America that they would honor God and the will of the people who trusted them and raised them to positions of leadership. And pray, too, for all of our Alliance Defense Fund efforts nationwide to defend life and move our courts beyond the "culture of death" that has, for too long, poisoned our country. God will honor our prayers, and that – together – we will see the birth of a new culture of life in America. John 15:5.