Court Blocks Defunding Of Planned Parenthood

An appeals court ruled Tuesday that Indiana cannot defund Planned Parenthood because it performs abortions.

Ken Falk and Betty Cockrum

Photo: Brandon Smith/IPBS

ACLU Legal Director Ken Falk and Planned Parenthood Indiana President Betty Cockrum speak at a press conference after the appeals court released its ruling.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana will continue to receive federal Medicaid dollars after the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the group’s favor Tuesday.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana brought suit against the state after the General Assembly passed legislation in 2011 halting Medicaid funding to abortion providers.  A federal district judge last year temporarily halted the effects of the law and Tuesday the Seventh Circuit upheld that ruling.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana President Betty Cockrum describes her reaction to the ruling as “glee” and says it’s not abortion dollars that would be cut off.

“It’s Pap tests, it’s birth control, it’s breast exams, it’s STD testing and treatment,” Cockrum says.

But Indiana Right to Life legislative director Sue Swayze says Hoosiers can receive those services elsewhere and that the bill was designed to prevent support for the state’s abortion providers.

“We hope that we can appeal again and take it all the way up and see just how much the federal government through a program like Medicaid can have programmatic rules that tie the hands of state to do things that they find distasteful,” Swayze says.

In a statement, Attorney General Greg Zoeller says his office will review the decision more thoroughly before deciding on further action.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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