Kansas AG 'Inadvertently' Might Have Sued Himself In Lawsuit To Stop State From Financing Abortions For Medicaid Beneficiaries

Funny but true -- law

Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline (R) "inadvertently" might have sued himself as part of a lawsuit filed in Shawnee County District Court that would force the state to stop financing abortions for Medicaid beneficiaries, according to Nick Badgerow, an attorney representing Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D), the Topeka Capital-Journal reports (Fry, Topeka Capital-Journal, 1/10). The lawsuit -- filed by Kline in August 2005 -- seeks to define the moment of conception as the beginning of life in order to support the argument that abortion violates an individual's right to life under the state constitution. "The continued expenditure of state funds as reimbursement for elective pregnancy termination is unlawful because the use of state funds for reimbursement of such pregnancy terminations involves the state in the destruction of the lives of 'men' without due process of law," the lawsuit says. Sebelius -- who is named as a defendant in the suit, along with Secretary of Administration Duane Goossen and Bob Day, the director of the state Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services' Division of Health Policy and Finance -- in October 2005 filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Sebelius' attorneys have argued that federal law requires the state to cover the cost of abortions in cases of rape or incest or when the woman's health is in danger and that the state could be at risk of losing federal Medicaid funding if the practice were banned (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 10/21/05). Badgerow, who on Monday appeared before Shawnee County District Court Judge David Bruns seeking to dismiss the suit, said Kline oversees the state Crime Victims Reparations Board -- which also could provide funding for rape and sexual assault survivors to cover the cost of an abortion -- and therefore could be a defendant in his lawsuit (AP/Kansas City Star, 1/10). State Rep. Lance Kinzer (R), who also is the lawyer representing Kline, said the case could become "interesting" if the board becomes involved in the lawsuit. Bruns accepted Sebelius' motion to dismiss the case for consideration and said he will decide on the issue at a later time, according to the Capital-Journal (Topeka Capital-Journal, 1/10).

Kansas AG 'Inadvertently' Might Have Sued Himself In Lawsuit To Stop State From Financing Abortions For Medicaid Beneficiaries


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