Planned Parenthood Eyes Restraining Order Over Bill

Planned Parenthood of Indiana to ask judge to stop the state from cutting off its government funding.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' decision whether or not to sign the recently-passed abortion bill in his state could signal if he's interested in running for president.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana will seek a restraining order to stop the state from cutting off its government funding after Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a bill today that would end the flow of taxpayer dollars to the healthcare provider.

The bill is effective immediately. However, shortly after Daniels’ office announced the signing, Planned Parenthood of Indiana issued a news release saying that it, along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, will file a temporary restraining order and injunction to try to prevent HEA 1210 from taking effect.

Supporters of the bill, HB1210, say they do not want their tax dollars going to an organization that provides abortions. The bill also moves the deadline for women to receive abortions to 20 weeks and mandates that doctors tell patients that abortion has been linked to infertility.

The bill will cut off about $2 million of the $3 million Planned Parenthood receives annually in government funds and make Indiana the first state to prohibit the use of Medicaid at Planned Parenthood.

The Family and Social Services Administration also has expressed concerns that it could cause Indiana to run afoul of Medicaid policy and lose all $4 million the agency gets in family planning dollars.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana President Betty Cockrum said the move threatens basic health care for Hoosier women and will lead to undetected cancers, untreated sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies.

Daniels, though, said his administration reviewed women's access to services "and can confirm that all non-abortion services, whether family planning or basic women's health, will remain readily available in every one of our 92 counties. In addition, I have ordered the Family and Social Services Administration to see that Medicaid recipients receive prompt notice of nearby care options. We will take any actions necessary to ensure that vital medical care is, if anything, more widely available than before."

Any clinic affected by this law, he said, "can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions."

The bill technically cuts off funds to any entity that performs abortions. However, it exempts hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers, so Planned Parenthood is effectively the only target.

Indianapolis Star