Federal Court Blocks Indiana's Planned Parenthood Funding Ban

By:  Dave Bohon
10/25/2012
       
Federal Court Blocks Indiana's Planned Parenthood Funding Ban

On October 23, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago blocked Indiana's defunding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, affirming a lower court's preliminary injunction against the state law as a Planned Parenthood lawsuit against it makes its way through the courts. In its ruling, the three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit said that the suit, filed jointly by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, would likely succeed on the argument that the funding ban violates a federal statute that allows patients in state Medicaid programs to choose their healthcare providers.

On October 23, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago blocked Indiana's defunding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, affirming a lower court's preliminary injunction against the state law as a Planned Parenthood lawsuit against it makes its way through the courts. In its ruling, the three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit said that the suit, filed jointly by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, would likely succeed on the argument that the funding ban violates a federal statute that allows patients in state Medicaid programs to choose their healthcare providers. In its decision the panel returned the case to the lower court, saying that the Indiana law “excludes a class of providers from Medicaid for reasons unrelated to provider qualifications.”

Steven Aden of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which has provided legal assistance to Indiana officials in the case, said that the ruling thwarts the will of the citizens of the state. “The will of Indiana taxpayers to close loopholes so that their money isn’t used to fund the operations of abortion sellers should be respected,” Aden said in a statement. “During these tough economic times, it makes no sense to contradict the will of the people of Indiana, who don’t believe abortionists deserve to receive government funding.”

Mary Spaulding Balch of National Right to Life said that “the most troubling aspect of the decision is that now the Indiana taxpayers are being forced by court order to continue to pay for abortions. Whether it's direct or indirect, Planned Parenthood is going to have more money to spend that will enable them to do more abortions — and that is obviously troubling.”

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