DENVER — The state of Colorado is illegally providing $14 million to Planned Parenthood in violation of the state Constitution, a lawsuit from a former executive director of the state health department charges.
“Public officials should respect the law and the democratic process, rather than ignore both to fill Planned Parenthood’s bank account,” Michael Norton, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, said Oct. 17.
“Colorado voters already decided the issue when they amended the state Constitution to prohibit tax-dollar subsidies to abortionists,” he said. “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.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Jane Norton, a former head of Colorado’s Public Health and Environment Department, in her suit, Norton v. Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood, filed Oct. 15 in a state district court.
The suit contends that new public information shows that Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood has received $14 million in state taxpayer funds since January 2009.
Under a state constitutional amendment passed in 1984, Colorado law bars direct or indirect subsidy of abortion.
When Norton headed the state health department, a 2001 state audit of Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood and its affiliate Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Services Corp. found that state funds indirectly subsidized work in abortion. The audit ended the funding.
Alliance Defending Freedom said that state officials later resumed funding and claim that only federal taxpayer dollars went to the organization.