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Federal Ruling Upholds PPIN Funding, Informed Consent

Indiana Medicaid patients will once again be able to get service at Planned Parenthood clinics after a federal judge halted enforcement of a new law denying reimbursements to the organization. Meanwhile, effective July 1, doctors still will be required to tell patients seeking an abortion in Indiana that life begins at conception.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana President Betty Cockrum says she’s ecstatic after Judge Tanya Walton Pratt granted a preliminary injunction denying the state’s attempts to cut off public funding to organizations that perform abortions.

Planned Parenthood was forced to turn away Medicaid patients Tuesday, but Cockrum says its doors are wide open again.

“We’re whole again and our patients are whole again and our staff’s whole again,” says Cockrum. “For right now, things are good and this certainly does bode well for a permanent injunction.”

Though Pratt restored public funding to Planned Parenthood in her ruling, she also partially blocked enforcement of new informed consent language for the state. Under her preliminary injunction, doctors will not have to tell patients a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks or earlier, but they will have to say life begins at conception.

Cockrum says while her staff may be uncomfortable with the law, they will abide by it.

“One thing that’s true if you’re a health care provider,” says Cockrum, “is you have a whole world of protocols and procedures that you follow and our staff’s pretty rigorous about that.”

Both the state attorney general’s office and Cockrum say they plan to file appeals in U.S. Circuit Court – the state trying to restore portions of the law, Planned Parenthood trying to eliminate the rest of the informed consent language.

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