Friday, September 07, 2007


In March, the Colorado Right to Life Board delivered 600 petitions, signed by concerned constituents, to Governor Bill Ritter, asking him not to go ahead with his promise of state funding for Planned Parenthood. Such funding, as noted on the petitions, would be illegal under an amendment to the state Constitution (approved by voters not once, but twice!) which prohibits state funds being “directly or indirectly” provided to support abortions. Because Planned Parenthood clinics in Colorado share overhead with Planned Parenthood abortuaries, that constitutes a clear “indirect” prohbition, no matter how the Governor tries to play it. Board members spoke to the press, and board member Tim Leonard gave a televised press conference on the issue. CRTL will deliver more petitions as they come in. The form can be found at .

Colorado Right To Life Vice President Leslie Hanks carries petitions into Gov. Ritter's office in March 2007, urging that he not permit state funds to subsidize abortions. Ritter has said he would allow Planned Parenthood to receive state funding for family planning services other than abortion. (Denver Post Photo by Karl Gehring)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Gov wants Planned Parenthood in state budget
But Christian alliance says constitution forbids it
Posted: September 7, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2007

Gov. Bill Ritter

A Christian organization in Colorado is launching a campaign to "rally the troops" because Gov. Bill Ritter repeatedly has promised to restore state funding to Planned Parenthood, a move that could violate the state constitution's ban on "direct" or "indirect" taxpayer funding for abortions.

Ritter made the promise on his 2006 campaign website, and in various speeches since, to have Colorado taxpayers pay for expenses for Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, despite two votes by the people in 1984 and 1988 banning that support.

"We will restore the Planned Parenthood money that Gov. [Bill] Owens cut. Every woman in Colorado will have access to emergency contraception. And we will not turn women or their doctors into criminals," he said.

Owens, a Republican, had eliminated funding for Planned Parenthood from the state budget because of the constitutional provision that bans taxpayer funding in Colorado for abortions, either through a "direct" route, or an "indirect" route, and a legal opinion that not even dividing Planned Parenthood into two separate corporations, one to provide abortions and another to pay other expenses, would satisfy the constitution's requirements.

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"The reality is that Bill Ritter has never backed down from his promise to put money into Planned Parenthood," Mark Hotaling, the director of the Christian Family Alliance, told WND.

He explained that the budget the state currently is operating on was established mostly by the former governor before he left office. Especially, he noted the state's "family planning" money was committed to other organizations that are operating under contracts already in existence.

Ritter, when he made the statements about having taxpayers support Planned Parenthood's operations financially, meant it, and he still means it, Hotaling said.

"The governor had to appease the radical left of his party, and made certain promises. One of them he made repeatedly was to restore money to Planned Parenthood," Hotaling said.

"The reason he couldn't to do last legislative session was the timing of grants and the lack of funds in the state family planning fund," he said. "But there's nothing to prohibit him from doing it in the next session, when more money can be put into the fund."

He said the public needs to rise up and let the governor know of its opposition to taxpayer funding for the abortion industry.

A spokesman for Ritter's office told WND that it's a "misnomer" to call it funding for Planned Parenthood, because the state money actually would go to "family planning."

There are a variety of organizations, from non-profits to county health clinics, that provide "family planning" information and are recipients of the state funding, he said.

The spokesman acknowledged that the previous governor essentially "disqualified" Planned Parenthood from getting state funding. "We are trying to ascertain exactly what policies were instituted under the former administration and what would be necessary to address those the way the governor has expressed a desire to do that."

Hotaling said that's enough.

"It we don't have the pressure on now, we'll be trying to get that money back later," he said. The chances for that to happen, he told WND, are "along the lines of snowballs in Hades."

"The way government happens, as soon as they dole the money out it's not coming back," he said. "We need to nip this thing in the bud right now. Our membership is relying on us to do the right thing and not wait around for the money to be doled out. If it gets paid out, it will be against the law, and it's going to cost us twice as much to try and stop then."

Joining in the Colorado Family Alliance campaign is state Sen. Scott Renfroe, who told WND that he's "gravely concerned" about Ritter's announced plans.

He said he's asked the governor, "How are you going to do this, and uphold the constitution and the will of the people?"

"I guess time will tell if he does do something," he said. Renfroe told WND that a campaign letter has been sent to constituents seeking support.

"I am saddened and appalled that Gov. Ritter assumes that part of our tax money already belongs to Colorado's largest abortionist," he wrote. "And with pro-abortion liberals in control of the State Legislature, our only hope is to turn to the good sense and actions of citizens … to help stop this injustice."

When Ritter made his promises, Kate Horle, of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said she was "thrilled."

"Gov. Ritter really recognizes that the best way to reduce abortion is by reducing the unintended pregnancy rate," she said.

But national Christian ministries, such as the Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, were worried.

"The voters of Colorado voted that no public funding would go to abortion," said Carrie Gorden Earll, an analyst with the ministry. Funding Planned Parenthood would raise concerns. "We're not sure if you can adequately separate their abortion business from their family planning business."

An editorial in the Fort Collins Coloradoan noted the issue. Under the headline "Ritter trying to 'sneak in' abortion view," editorial writer Erik Rush concluded that more and more Americans are recognizing that abortion "is about the lucrative industry of killing babies in nauseatingly brutal and inhuman fashion…"

"Colorado Constitution Article 5, Section 50, was passed via ballot measure by the people of the State of Colorado to ensure that our tax dollars would never be used for the 'direct or indirect' support of abortion mills," he wrote. "It recently came to my attention (and to that of Colorado pro-life organizations) that Gov. Bill Ritter, in an effort to pay back some of the far-left supporters who helped get him elected, intends to circumvent this law and 'indirectly' funnel Colorado taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

"It should be no surprise: 'I will restore the funding to Planned Parenthood and other agencies,' Ritter stated on his campaign website. How, one wonders — without doing it illegally? Depending on how familiar one is with the machinations of politics, this process can be likened to the laundering of money by organized crime. When dollars change hands enough times and no one is paying attention to the paper trail, when the government cuts a check, all looks to be above board," Rush wrote.

One writer, "wiseone," on a forum following Rush's column was brutal in his assessment of the situation.

"Its (sic) good to increase funding for PP. Abortions are usually done simply for convenience, (remember the abortionists told everyone it was to help those who were raped, incest, etc...actually only about 2% are for that reason) and the vast majority are no doubt Democrats, since this was their agenda. The net result is their killing a vast number of future Democrats. I think this is a good thing for conservatives."

But a "progressive" Media Matters organization immediately jumped to the defense of Ritter and Planned Parenthood.

"Ritter in his January 11 State of the State address announced his intention to fulfill a campaign promise to restore state funding for 'pregnancy prevention and family planning programs.' Consistent with the Colorado Constitution, Ritter has stated his plan would not fund abortions, as Colorado Media Matters has noted," the critique said.

The criticism supported the argument that providing funding to Planned Parenthood for "family planning" does not, in fact, support Planned Parenthood's abortion business.

Are you a representative of the media who would like to interview the author of this story? Let us know.

Related offers:

"Struggling for Life: How our Tax Dollars and Twisted Science Target the Unborn"

"Silent No More" – help preserve freedom while there's still time

Previous stories:

Campaign will flood abortion with prayer

Planned Parenthood rape stats questioned

Court allows display of 'bloody' aborted babies

Abortion clinic director arrested

Christian ministry buys former abortion clinic

Botched procedure shuts down abortion business

StandUpGirls: 'You're not alone'

Dad returns baby's body to abortion clinic

Abortionist arrested in Florida investigation

'Child-rape cases being ignored'

IMs reaching women vulnerable to abortion

Mom, meet your (unborn) child!

Planned Parenthood access to public purse in jeopardy

Abortion business closes because clients 'too poor'

'Nurse' accused of handing out fatal abortion drug

Operation Rescue seeks abortion business closure.

Clinic shuts down after abortionist disappears

Pro-life group gets abortionist's license revoked

Rules convince another abortionist to quit

Yet another abortionist can't stand heat, quits

Half-dozen abortion clinics shut down

'Aborted' baby born alive, authorities say

Abortionists investigated for possible baby murder

10 million females illegally aborted in India

Operation Rescue buys abortion clinic

Indian tribe challenges abortion law with clinic

Related commentary:

Striking back at Planned Parenthood

Bob Unruh is a news editor for