June 25, 2011; Source: Indianapolis Star | A U.S. District Court judge on Friday issued a preliminary injunction against an Indiana law that prevented Planned Parenthood from serving Medicaid patients in the state. The law, which stripped Planned Parenthood of all funding, including Medicaid reimbursements, effectively barred some 9,300 low-income individuals from access to birth control, breast exams, Pap tests and other medical services. After Judge Tanya Walton Pratt made her ruling, Betty Cokrum, president of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, said she was both "delighted and relieved" and added the group's clinics would once again be open to "Medicaid patients across the state." The anti-abortion group, Indiana Right to Life, which had lobbied for passage of the law to defund Planned Parenthood, described the court decision as going "against the will of the Indiana legislature." The judge's injunction only places a temporary hold on the law. Planned Parenthood will now try to convince the judge to throw out the law while the state will argue that it should be allowed to stand. The judge's decision also grants another sort of reprieve to Planned Parenthood. The loss of Medicaid funding might have forced Planned Parenthood to close 28 of its health centers. The Republican-led legislature had billed the law as an anti-abortion move, siding with those who claimed public funds were subsidizing abortions. However, according to the Indianapolis Star, the judge wrote in her ruling that there was "no evidence of 'inappropriate commingling' of private funds used for abortion with Medicaid funds used for birth control, tests for sexually transmitted diseases and cancer screenings."—Bruce S. Trachtenberg
Sign up for our free newsletter
Subscribe to the NPQ newsletter to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.