OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter has joined 12 other state attorneys general in asking a federal appeals court to rehear a case in front of the full court after a three judge panel decided that Ohio must provide funding to Planned Parenthood.
In the brief, attorneys general argue the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit contradicts prior court decisions, including the Supreme Court that has repeatedly ruled that states do not have to provide taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood.
Attorney General Hunter said the ruling has potential to negatively impact Oklahoma’s laws that ban the use of public funds for abortions and abortion providers.
“The state of Oklahoma has defended the sanctity of human life by passing laws that protect the unborn,” Attorney General Hunter said. "The ruling by the 6th Circuit undermines a state’s authority to oversee and appropriate taxpayer dollars. I continue to be an ardent supporter of the right to life and am proud to stand with my colleagues to contest any attempt to abridge laws that protect the unborn.”
In question is a 2016 law that banned Ohio abortion provider advocates from receiving state funds for six health care programs. Last month, the three judge panel on the 6th Circuit found Ohio’s law unfairly punished Planned Parenthood by taking away funding for the programs because the organization promotes abortion.
The brief argues, Ohio has a clear policy that prefers childbirth over abortion and does not want to use taxpayer dollars to promote abortion. In any of these programs, Ohio faces the risk of funding Planned Parenthood, which would promote abortion with taxpayer dollars.
“When the government disburses public funds to private entities to convey a governmental message, it may take legitimate and appropriate steps to ensure that its message is neither garbled nor distorted by the grantee,” attorneys general write, citing a prior U.S. Supreme Court decision. “What could be a more legitimate and appropriate step to keep one’s message of preferring childbirth over abortion from being garbled than to decide to not choose a speaker who spends much of its time communicating the opposite message?”
In addition to Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, the brief was signed by attorneys general of Arkansas, Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Read the brief, here: https://bit.ly/2IANaXc.
Since taking office, Attorney General has prioritized and advocated for the life and rights of the unborn. Currently, he is working in support of states that cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood after videos surfaced showing that the organization had been illegally harvesting and selling fetal body parts, appealing a court ruling that physicians may administer medication abortions using a method that has killed several women, actively defending laws that prohibit “dismemberment abortions,” where a living, unborn child is torn apart piece by piece and filed a brief in support of a 20-week abortion ban.
For more on Attorney General Hunter’s continued support of the unborn, click here: https://bit.ly/2I4Dchs.