In 2001, the state of Colorado cut off funds to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains after an independent investigation found the group indirectly subsidizing abortions in violation of state law. But in 2007, governor Bill Ritter restored funding to Planned Parenthood.
In 2013, former Lt. Governor Jane Norton filed a lawsuit to cut off funds to Planned Parenthood in Colorado. The lawsuit was dismissed at the trial level, but is now under review by the Colorado Court of Appeals. Norton still has no intention of giving up the fight to defund Planned Parenthood.
“When I learned that Governor Ritter had, in violation of this clear constitutional language, ordered that Planned Parenthood be re-funded, my lawsuit was filed,” Norton said in an email. “The decision is now in the hands of the Colorado Court of Appeals which, I am hopeful, will do the right thing for the people of Colorado.”
As evidenced in Colorado, defunding decisions can be an election away from being undone. The battle is far from over.
Earlier this year, Planned Parenthood announced a $20 million fundraiser kickoff for the upcoming election cycle, calling it the “biggest election in years.”
Attorney Michael J. Norton, who represents his wife Jane Norton, believes Planned Parenthood’s efforts to buy elections are repulsive. “They throw a ton of money into [campaigns],” he said. “I think it’s disgusting, quite honestly. I call it Chicago-style politics.”
Regardless of the decision from the Colorado Court of Appeals, Norton expects the case to end up in the Colorado Supreme Court.