Lawyers for the state and a privately financed anti-abortion group go to federal appeals court today in a bid to restore a ban on Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood.

Steven Aden of the Alliance Defending Freedom will argue that Arizona lawmakers are entitled to decide Planned Parenthood is not "qualified" to offer family planning services using Medicaid funds.

Aden is not questioning the medical qualifications of Planned Parenthood's staff. Instead he wants the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rule legislators can declare it ineligible because it also offers elective abortions, even if they are not funded by Medicaid. The U.S. Supreme Court recently refused to consider similar arguments in a case involving a virtually identical Indiana law. Aden would not discuss how he hopes to convince appellate judges in San Francisco that the Arizona law should be treated differently.

Although the state is a party to the appeal, Attorney General Tom Horne has let the anti-abortion group take the lead in the challenge.