Conservatives Have A New Way To Attack Planned Parenthood: Go After Universities

A conservative religious group in Colorado is suing Colorado State University and a local Planned Parenthood, claiming the two are in a “conspiracy” to get around a state law forbidding the use of taxpayer dollars to subsidize abortions.

The Faith & Freedom Coalition of Colorado filed a lawsuit last week saying that Colorado State University, a public institution, was paying the family planning provider with taxpayer dollars. The suit argues that this violates Colorado’s constitution, which prohibits the use of state money to fund abortions.

CSU said it paid Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains for placenta tissue and the California-based company Advanced Bioscience Resources for fetal tissue to carry out scientific research, but denies that it did anything illegal.

“In accordance with state and federal law, CSU obtained placental tissue from Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood for research into healthy pregnancies and also properly obtained fetal tissue from other providers for important research into curing disease,” university spokesman Mike Hooker said in a statement. “CSU denies any wrongdoing and otherwise declines to comment on pending litigation.”

The Colorado lawsuit is the most recent attempt by conservatives this year to limit Planned Parenthood’s ability to operate by going after universities.

Ever since an anti-abortion group released a series of heavily edited undercover videos in July that supposedly showed Planned Parenthood employees selling fetal tissue for profit, lawmakers and conservative activists have taken aim at the family planning organization and its ties to research universities.

In some cases, anti-abortion activists have succeeded — but not because any independent agency determined Planned Parenthood actually did something wrong.

Under political pressure, and without any evidence Planned Parenthood had actually broken the law, the University of Missouri’s chancellor revoked a Planned Parenthood physician’s admitting privileges at —> Read More