The Associated Press reported late Friday that the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has withdrawn their failing lawsuit against a 2011 Kansas law which bars private health care insurance from covering elective abortions. The ACLU cannot file these claims again or appeal the earlier court rulings.
Under the law– like the court-approved law operating in Missouri and (de facto) in eastern Kansas for over two decades– abortions other than to save the mother’s life would not be covered unless individuals had separately purchased “riders”. The law was sought as a “conscience” protection by
- employers who did not want to be forced to offer policies with abortion coverage, and
- employees who objected to having their health care dollars pooled into plans that paid out for abortions.
The plaintiffs were women (primarily two former Kansas abortion lobbyists) claiming they lost their abortion coverage under the new law and that it showed gender discrimination. It was rough going for the ACLU side from the start: they did not merit an injunction, a variety of their legal claims were advanced and then scrapped, and they were told more than once that their claims “lacked evidence.”
On Jan. 7, 2013, federal Judge Julie Robinson soundly rejected the ACLU motion for a bench ruling instead of a trial, responding that, as a matter of law, the ACLU failed to provide any evidence that the Legislature’s predominant motivation in passing the law was to make it more difficult to get abortions.
Judge Robinson wrote, “Whether one agrees or disagrees with [the State's] asserted cost and/or “freedom of conscience” rationale, there is nothing in the record to show that this was not the legislature’s purpose in adopting the law. Moreover, the claimed interests are rational ones.”
Abortion supporters –who sued three of Kansas’ 2011 pro-life measures– are fond of complaining that too much money has been spent by the state on defense litigation. They argue that these pro-life laws were only sued because they are “wrong,” but in this case, the court has recognized that it was the ACLU wasting taxpayer money.
Abortion is always the taking of an innocent human life; and the upholding of this law, which stops society from “normalizing” and mainstreaming abortion as health care, is a victory.