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INDIANAPOLIS, IN, July 31, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge made permanent Tuesday a temporary injunction against an Indiana state law that blocked Medicaid funds from being used to pay for medical procedures performed at abortion centers.

The law, passed in 2011, was the first of its kind in the nation, and blocked abortion providers from receiving government funds, even for treatments unrelated to abortion.  The law was struck down as a violation of Medicaid’s “freedom of choice” provision, which guarantees Medicaid recipients the right to choose their own physicians. 

In May, the Supreme Court refused to hear the state’s appeal. 

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On Monday, the state gave up the fight, conceding in writing that the law, as written, violated Medicaid’s “freedom of choice” provision.  Attorney General Greg Zoeller said he would not pursue any further appeals.

Planned Parenthood CEO Betty Cockrum called the agreement “a huge step forward, with the state conceding that they no longer have any recourse.”

Attorney General Zoeller said that although he would no longer defend the law in court, the state stands by its opinion that state funding of abortion providers, even when that money isn’t being used directly for abortions, helps abortionists’ bottom line. 

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“Although the legal challenge and the state’s administrative appeal are at an end,” Zoeller said in a statement, “it was important and necessary to defend the policy decision of the people's elected representatives in the legislature that Medicaid dollars should not indirectly subsidize the payroll and overhead expenses of abortion providers.”

Pro-life leaders in Indiana lamented the decision. “The news of this agreement is not surprising, but it is disappointing,” said Indiana Right to Life spokeswoman Becky Rogness.  “Planned Parenthood, the state's largest abortion provider, will continue to receive funds through the Medicaid program, effectively freeing up other monies to expand and support its abortion business.”

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