Anti-abortion laws helping attorneys prosper

At least some Kansans are prospering under the Brownback administration. The Kansas Attorney General’s Office paid outside law firms, including Wichita-based Foulston Siefkin, $476,000 to defend anti-abortion laws enacted last year, Associated Press reported. And that’s just the start. The attorney bills will continue to rack up as the legal challenges work their way through the courts. In a budget year in which funding was cut for schools, the arts, the disabled and other important programs and services, it is particularly frustrating that the state is spending this amount of money defending laws it knew were weak or flawed. For example, the federal government warned Kansas that it couldn’t block funding to Planned Parenthood, but lawmakers and Gov. Sam Brownback approved the law anyway, which was then blocked by the courts. Now some anti-abortion lawmakers are planning even more constitutionally suspect laws for this coming session, such as preventing private companies from getting tax deductions for abortion-related expenditures. That will make the attorneys happy.