Nothing gets state Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) frothing at the mouth like “abortion.” Just say the word within earshot, and Lundberg reacts like Pavlov’s dog. You can practically see the ripples of electrical activity inside that ham sandwich between his ears.
Unfortunately for the rest of us, Sen. Lundberg is a member of the powerful and important Joint Budget Committee (JBC), a seat from where he’s happy to waste time on pointless discussions of imaginary abortion-related problems. As Lundberg happily explained to constituents via an email newsletter this week, he took the opportunity during a Jan. 25 JBC meeting to voice his opposition to funding school clinics because of some mysterious belief that school “nurses” might be referring sick kids to abortion providers. From Lundberg’s newsletter, dated Feb. 1:
During a Joint Budget Committee hearing several weeks ago I asked the Colorado Department of Education a question they found rather uncomfortable. The Department was asking for additional funding for school clinics. In the description of school clinics it stated that they primarily provide referral services for medical care. [Pols emphasis]
The question was: “do school clinics ever refer students to abortion clinics?” The Department said they do not know. My next question was what policy they have in place concerning this issue. Weeks later they essentially admitted they have no policy.
I asked this because the Colorado Constitution (Article V Section 50) prohibits any state funds from being used directly or indirectly for abortions. Referring a student to an abortion clinic is indirectly participating in the abortion.
Maybe Lundberg has uncovered some vast new conspiracy.
Or…or maybe the Department of Education doesn’t actually have a formal policy that their school clinics are forbidden from referring children for abortions because why would they???
We went back to the recordings of the JBC meetings on Jan. 25 so we could hear Lundberg’s concerns firsthand. Here’s the play-by-play:
Sen. Lundberg: “I, consequently, will not vote for any funding or any reimbursement for funding … until their policy is clearly in coordination with the colorado Constitution [regarding abortion]…”
Rep. Young: “…this is for children with disabilities… some were wheelchair bound and needed transfers just for basic care…”
Sen. Lundberg: “Thats why it is important to be cleared up. I believe they need to act on this. I dont believe we should move forward with any funding or reimbursement of funding until they do the right thing.”
And finally, Lundberg’s closing statement:
“Until I see substantive evidence that they have a policy that says we dont go down the road of indirect funding for abortions … until that occurs, I dont see any reason for additional funding coming in any way.”
So…until we can assure Sen. Lundberg that school clinics are not recommending abortions to students, he cannot in good conscience approve any increased funding for children with disabilities.