Indiana Planned Parenthood reopens doors after judge blocks defunding law
INDIANAPOLIS, June 27, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) immediately reopened its doors over the weekend, after a federal judge struck down a new state law diverting federal and state funds from the abortion organization.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on Friday granted PPIN’s request for a preliminary injunction against the law, which the Obama administration has already targeted with a threat to deprive the state of all $5.3 billion of its Medicaid allotment, to save Planned Parenthood’s $3 million share.
Pratt cited the administration’s threat as justifying the injunction, saying that the state’s need for Medicaid funds tilted the scales against upholding the law.
“Denying the injunction could pit the federal government against the state of Indiana in a high-stakes political impasse. And if dogma trumps pragmatism and neither side budges, Indiana’s most vulnerable citizens could end up paying the price as the collateral damage of a partisan battle,” stated Pratt’s opinion.
In addition to its threat to revoke Medicaid, the Obama admin has also joined the lawsuit launched by Planned Parenthood earlier this month against the law. Since then, the administration has fired a warning shot towards other states eying similar measures.
On June 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a bulletin to all 50 states saying that federal law “does not allow states to stop beneficiaries from getting care they need — like cancer screenings and preventive care — because their provider offers certain other services.”
But in a letter to Medicaid Administrator Donald Berwick, a group of U.S. senators condemned CMS’s interpretation of the federal Medicaid statute as false and part of an “alarming pattern of usurping states’ authority.”
Pointing to poll data showing that Americans are overwhelmingly opposed even to indirectly subsidizing abortions, Charmaine Yoest and Denise Burke of Americans United for Life said today that the American taxpayer “is under siege from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s abortion super-provider, and its allies in the Obama administration.”
“Who here is really endangering women? Clearly, Planned Parenthood and the administration are willing to deny thousands of needy men, women and children health care in order to protect the bottom lines of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers,” wrote Yoest and Burke in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Monday.
“No doubt it also is intended to squelch the strong momentum in other states to defund Planned Parenthood and similar abortion providers.”
Indiana was one of five states in the past month to deal a major blow to Planned Parenthood after a bid to end the abortion giant’s funding on the federal level failed. Wisconsin and Tennessee reallocated federal family planning funds away from Planned Parenthood, while North Carolina legislators barred state contracts with the organization, and New Hampshire’s Executive Council blocked a family-planning contract with Planned Parenthood’s local branch.
Kansas and New Jersey have also deprived Planned Parenthood of funds: the Kansas budget spearheaded by Gov. Sam Brownback hamstrung funding for the organization, while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie line-item vetoed the state’s allotment of family planning funds.
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