SBA List appeals ruling on healthcare law and abortion

The Susan B. Anthony List on Thursday filed an appeal in its lawsuit over claims that the healthcare reform law provides government funding for abortion.

Former Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio) sued SBA List for defamation after the group tried to buy billboards that accused him of supporting government-funded abortion through healthcare reform. SBA List sought to have the suit dismissed and also said Ohio's election laws are an unconstitutional limit on free speech.

Earlier this month, a federal judge dismissed SBA List's constitutional challenge and allowed Driehaus's suit to proceed. In the process, the judge said the reform law plainly does not provide government funding for abortion.

"The express language of the (healthcare law) does not provide for tax-payer funded abortion. That is a fact, and it is clear on its face," the ruling stated.

SBA List on Thursday appealed the constitutional question to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals and began the process of seeking an appeal on the lower court's decision to let Driehaus's suit go forward.

“The idea that a judge would take it upon himself to police speech, specifically statements on a position taken by the majority of the U.S. House of Representatives, The Congressional Research Service, the Catholic Church, and the entire pro-life movement, shakes our Constitutional foundation. It is as if we woke up in the middle of Orwell's 1984,” SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a release.