Many Indiana residents are waiting to see if Governor Daniels will sign a bill causing Planned Parenthood to lose millions of dollars. Planned Parenthood of Indiana serves about 85,000 Hoosiers each year.
President and CEO Betty Cockrum said the loss of $3 million in federal funding would disproportionately hurt the 22,000 low-income patients the organization treats yearly.
“These are Indiana’s most vulnerable citizens, and the care they’re given is direct preventive basic health care,” said Cockrum. “If we aren’t there to provide it there’s a real risk that women will forgo birth control and we’ll see an increase in the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions.”
Indiana University religious studies professor Daniel Conkle said many Roman Catholic and Evangelical Protestants oppose abortion as a matter of religious morality.
“There is religious opposition to abortion and to tax payer support in this case organizations that provide abortions,” said Conkle.
Some want to protect life – a feeling which weighs on some politicians, even if they can’t say so. “There has been long standing prohibition on government funding directly for abortion services themselves. At the same time on contemporary American politics, there typically is some reluctance for public officials,” said Conkle.
Cockrum said if the funding is taken away, patient traffic will decline and so too might staffing at some clinics. Protests have been organized around the state to urge the governor not to sign the bill, which some scholars say may be unconstitutional.