Thursday, August 18, 2005

People who don't know the law shouldn't be the Attorney General

Kline seeks court order prohibiting state-funded abortions:
Kansas Atty. Gen. Phill Kline has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Kathleen Sebelius seeking a court order to prohibit state-funded abortions.

The lawsuit states that the expenditure of state funds for abortions violates the Kansas Constitution's protection of "inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happinees."

The suit also seeks to have the court determine that life starts at fertilization when "a new, unique and genetically distinct human being is formed, distinct from its host while dependent upon her."

The state is allowed through Medicaid, a federal and state funded program that provides health care to low-income Kansans, to pay for abortions. State officials did not immediately say how many abortions were funded through Medicaid per year.

Sebelius criticized the lawsuit.

"The state of Kansas is required to follow federal law, which restricts Medicaid funding (for abortion) to three areas only: In the cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is threatened. Failing to comply with these requirements would jeopardize the health care dollars Kansas receives from Medicaid which totaled $1.2 billion last year alone," Sebelius spokesperson Nicole Corcoran said.
Political posturing is nothing new for Mr. Kline. Could this be his way of kicking off a run for the Governor's mansion?

Perish the thought.

Does the law forbid spending this money? No, it requires it. This is embarrassingly wrong. There's no state constitutional issue, since Roe v. Wade clarifies the federal constitutional issue. The state has a compelling interest in protecting the life of the mother, that's what the Court has held consistently. Under those circumstances, the state cannot prohibit an abortion, so any state constitutional measure that stood in the way of that right would be as irrelevant as a state which still had constitutional provisions for slavery.

The state has no choice on this matter, and Mr. Kline knows it. This is petty posturing and a waste of the taxpayers' money.