Friday, 13 May 2011

Indiana Ends Funding for Planned Parenthood

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Mitch DanielsProlifers are thrilled that Indiana has cut off federal funding to Planned Parenthood based on the organization's abortion business, and hope that the law will withstand a federal court challenge.

Indiana is the first state cut off funds it administers through Medicaid and hit Planned Parenthood where it hurts the most: the wallet.

Indiana Right To Life President Mike Fichter said the legislation places Indiana at the head of the nation in the pro-life cause. In signing the bill, Fichter said, Gov. Mitch Daniels "has now established Indiana as one of the leading pro-life states in the nation.”

If the law survives the inevitable court challenges, Planned Parenthood will lose $1.5 million federal funding because Medicaid recipients will no longer be able seek care medical care at the organization's clinics. According to the Indianapolis Star, Indiana controls about $1 million of the $3 million of the federal funds Planned Parenthood receives.

Daniels Signed Law

The beginning of the end for Planned Parenthood's place at the public trough began when the bill, which also bans abortion after 20 weeks because of fetal pain, passed the Indiana General Assembly in late April. The move sent abortion advocates into a panic and rage, and it left Daniels, something of a weak sister on the social issues, holding the ball.

He didn't fumble. He signed the bill early this week. On announcing he planned to sign the bill, Daniels explained that he had always supported it. Said Daniels:

“I will sign HEA 1210 when it reaches my desk a week or so from now. I supported this bill from the outset, and the recent addition of language guarding against the spending of tax dollars to support abortions creates no reason to alter my position. The principle involved commands the support of an overwhelming majority of Hoosiers, as reflected in greater than 2:1 bipartisan votes in both legislative chambers.”

Abortion advocates say Daniels signed the bill to curry favor with pro-life Republicans in anticipation of a run for president in 2012. In March, Daniels said Republicans need to declare a truce on social issues and focus on the pocketbook.

Court Gambit Fails

Having failed legislatively, the Hoosier Left did what the left always does: ran to court.

After Daniels signed the bill, the Indiana branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis. ACLU argued that the bill trespassed the First Amendment because it required doctors to instruct women on the nature of an unborn child.

As well, it argued, the bill was cruel because it would deny contraceptives to poor women.

Said ACLU torpedo Kent Falk, “Family planning dollars fund preventive health services that are critical to low-income and vulnerable women and their families. It is unlawful, unnecessary and cruel to deny these populations health services that they desperately need.”

Federal Judge Tanya Walton Pratt did not agree, and said the bill will not jeopardize Planned Parenthood's business. She noted, the Indianapolis Star reported, that Planned Parenthood has up to a year to bill for Medicaid services and that the organization also has an emergency fund if it needs it.

Said Pratt, “This court is not persuaded that (the law) will have a concrete and immediate effect."

The Star reported that Pratt will decide by July 1 whether to stop the state from putting the law into effect.

Pro-lifers in Indianapolis are happy about the ruling.

Said Indiana Right to Life chief Fichter:

This legislation places Indiana on the vanguard of efforts to protect the unborn, to deny public funds to businesses that profit from abortion, and to ensure that women considering abortion have full and factual information about such issues as fetal development and alternatives to abortion.

But Ficher also believes the state will prevail in court. “This is a delay tactic intended to keep public funding flowing to Indiana’s largest abortion business as long as possible,” Fichter told

We are confident that Indiana will successfully defend this statute and that all state-directed funding will eventually be ended for Planned Parenthood and all other abortion businesses in Indiana....

This is all about abortion, money, and a complete disregard for overwhelming, bipartisan action by Indiana’s representative legislature. Planned Parenthood is hoping the courts will do what they cannot do at the ballot box or at the Statehouse, and that is to force Hoosiers to support its operations with public funds.

Indiana isn't the only state trying to defund Planned Parenthood. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has proposed redirecting family planning funds in his state away from Planned Parenthood and toward other family planning services.

Abortion Factory

Planned Parenthood is the leading "abortion provider" in the country, having cornered a third of the flourishing market. With its billion-dollar-plus budget, it wiped out more than 300,000 unborn lives in 2008. In 2009, it performed 332,278 abortions, a 2.5 percent increase over its 324,008 abortions in 2008.

And it performs these abortion with some $350 million a year in taxpayer subsidies. From 2002 through 2008, it received about $2 billion in federal subsidies. The Government Accountability Office questions the organization's handling of taxpayer subsidies.

Photo: Gov. Mitch Daniels

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