(Indianapolis, Ind.) – After a state law barring federal funding for abortion providers was tossed, Planned Parenthood of Indian is again welcoming Medicaid patients into its clinics.
U.S. District Court Judge Tonya Walton Pratt ruled Friday the state did not have the authority to cut off $1.4 million in annual federal Medicaid funding to the organization.
Federal law prevents public money such as Medicaid payments from being used by clinics to pay for abortions, but they can go towards other services such as STD testing, Pap tests, breast exams, and birth control.
When the law went into effect in May, Planned Parenthood and its 9,300 Medicaid patients became reliant on donations.
“We did finally run out of those wonderful donations that were covering our Medicaid patient services and so on Tuesday we stopped seeing them,” said Planned Parenthood CEO and President Betty Cockrum.
The Indiana Attorney General’s office has promised to appeal the judge’s ruling.
"HEA 1210 . . . is not targeted at managed care organizations, nor is it directed at family planning choice. It is targeted at preventing indirect subsidy of abortions, which Congress expressly excludes as a form of 'family planning' payable by Medicaid," a brief filed by the state noted.
Pratt also ruled that a portion of the law requiring abortion doctors to tell patients that a fetus can feel pain at or before 20 weeks post-fertilization will not go into effect July 1. However, doctors will still be required to tell a patient that human physical life begins at conception.