In an op-ed for National Review, the Sutherland Institute’s William C. Duncan looks at Utah’s recent legal victory over Planned Parenthood in which a federal judge ruled in favor of Gov. Gary Herbert’s ability to defund the abortion provider’s Utah affiliate.
Supporters of the Herbert’s decision recognized a simple reality: Sending a check to Planned Parenthood in the wake of the video disclosures would be understood as either approval of the behavior of the employees in the videos or at least belief that it was not bad enough to justify distancing themselves from it. Similarly, any announcement that an individual would no longer donate to Planned Parenthood because of the videos would be understood as an expression of disapproval. The district court’s decision had the effect of denying the state of Utah, uniquely, the opportunity to express this kind of disapproval.
Thankfully, however, yesterday a federal judge ruled in favor of Utah’s ability to do just that. The court said that Utah’s Planned Parenthood affiliate could not show the defunding decision violated any “independent constitutional right.”