A bill awaiting consideration in the Indiana House could shift the burden of some women’s health care from Planned Parenthood clinics to other providers. House Bill 1205 removes federal funding from agencies that perform abortions or maintain facilities where abortions are performed, such as Planned Parenthood. Indiana University Health Center Director Dr. Diana Ebling said the bill is a step backward in promoting sexual health education, which she calls an especially vital issue on college campuses.
“I think it’s very important, at this point in their life education is very important, it’s one of their top concerns, obviously in the area of STI education, so they know how to reduce their risk, and also just general healthy functioning,” Ebling said.
The Health Center provides preventive health care services and fills birth control prescriptions for students, and might pick up patients from both the campus and the community at large if Planned Parenthood funding is reduced. Planned Parenthood of Indiana President Betty Cockrum said the bill is a groundless attack on her organization.
“Federal family planning dollars support the operation of eight health centers where 12,500 additional low income Hoosiers are provided with their basic reproductive health care. We would no longer have resources to provide those services,” Cockrum said.
Planned Parenthood’s abortion services are privately funded, as stipulated by the Hyde Amendment, which prevents Medicaid and Department of Health funds for being used for abortions.