Philadelphia Illegally Using Taxpayer Money to Pay for Abortions: Lawsuit

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Philadelphia officials are illegally giving $500,000 to an organization that helps women obtain abortions, according to a new lawsuit.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, announced on Aug. 4 that the city was transferring the money to the Abortion Liberation Fund of Pennsylvania.

According to a press release from Kenney’s office, the taxpayer money would be used to “help remove financial obstacles for people to access abortion care.”

It states that the abortion fund is providing money “so that anyone can get an abortion no matter their income, ZIP code, or reason.”

The abortion fund’s website states that it “[provides] emergency financial assistance to those who have made the decision to terminate a pregnancy but are prevented from using their insurance and cannot afford an abortion.”

In 2021 alone, the group helped pay for more than 3,600 abortions, the group said in a recent statement.

“The municipal funding will allow us to continue to support abortion access and our efforts to build community power and foster community-based resources for mutual care and support,” it said after Kenney’s announcement was unveiled. “We are excited to use this municipal funding to expand our budget so we can continue the opportunity to continue providing financial support, especially in a time when abortion is increasingly criminalized and inaccessible.”

‘Direct Violation’ of the Law

Pennsylvania law states that no taxpayer money “shall be expended by any State or local government agency for the performance of abortion.” Another law says that no taxpayer money can be used for the purpose unless an abortion is performed in cases of incest, rape, or danger to the life of the mother.

“Defendants’ actions are in direct violation of Pennsylvania’s prohibition against the use of public funds appropriated by the Commonwealth for the performance of abortion,” the new suit states.

It names the city, Kenney, Philadelphia treasurer Jacqueline Dunn, and Philadelphia controller Rebecca Rhynhart.

A city spokesperson declined to comment.

The suit, filed in the County of Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, asks the court to declare that the allocation of the $500,000 is illegal and prohibit Philadelphia officials from providing the money to the abortion fund.

Thomas More Society lawyers are representing the plaintiffs, Philadelphia residents Charles Kuhar Sr. and Theresa Kuhar.

“The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania prohibits its funds from being spent on abortion, with rare exceptions,” Thomas More Society special counsel Thomas Breth said in a statement. “Yet the mayor of Philadelphia is giving an unrestricted half million dollars to an organization for the expressed purpose of funding abortions.

“This move by the mayor is contrary to state law, and our clients intend to stop it.”

Zachary Stieber

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Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.



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