ADF to Colo. appeals court: End illegal funding of abortion

ADF attorney available to media following oral arguments in lawsuit over $14 million of taxpayer dollars given to Planned Parenthood
Monday, October 05, 2015

Attorney sound bite:  Michael J. Norton

WHO: ADF Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton
WHAT: Oral argument in Norton v. Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood
WHEN: Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 1:30 p.m. MDT
WHERE: Colorado Court of Appeals, 1st Floor Courtroom, 2 E. 14th Ave., Denver

DENVER – Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton will argue Tuesday before the Colorado Court of Appeals against a trial court’s decision that dismissed, on technical grounds, a lawsuit alleging that state agencies paid $14 million in taxpayer dollars to Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood to subsidize abortions. He will be available to the media for interviews immediately afterward.

ADF attorneys represent former Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Jane E. Norton in the lawsuit. The trial court determined that no “specific abortion service” was proven to be directly state-funded even though a voter-approved state constitutional provision prohibits “direct or indirect” public taxpayer subsidies of abortion.

“American taxpayer money should go to fund local community health centers, not to subsidize a scandal-ridden, billion-dollar abortion business like Planned Parenthood. This is especially true here in Colorado, where the voters adopted a state constitutional provision that expressly prohibits the direct or indirect funding of abortions,” said Norton, who is also a former U.S. Attorney. “The lower court dismissed this case on a technicality, but it should not have because even it agreed that $14 million of taxpayer funds flowed from state government agencies to Planned Parenthood and thus, presumptively, in violation of the voter-approved amendment.”

In 1984, Colorado voters approved the Abortion Funding Prohibition Amendment to the state constitution and two years later rejected an initiative to repeal it. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 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 subsidizing their abortion operations. State officials later ignored that determination and resumed funding to Planned Parenthood. (#DefundPP)

Most recently, Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood has been embroiled in a scandal over the potential illegal trafficking of the body parts of aborted babies, as Center for Medical Progress undercover videos appear to document. Just last week, a forensic analysis of the videos concluded that the videos “are authentic and show no evidence of manipulation….”

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

# # # | Ref. 40772