The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is taking a critical look at Indiana‘s new law that effectively shuts off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood of Indiana and other health care organizations that provide abortion services. An unnamed official with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a statement stating, “Federal law prohibits federal Medicaid dollars from being spent on abortion services. Medicaid does not allow states to stop beneficiaries from getting care they need – like cancer screenings and preventive care – because their provider offers certain other services. We are reviewing this particular situation and situations in other states.” PPIN President Betty Cockrum said that’s the point they intend to make in federal court next month. Still, Cockrum said it‘s hard to tell if the federal scrutiny of Indiana‘s law will help or hurt their case in federal court.
“I believe that some members of the judiciary pay attention to those things and others do not. And it’s my experience that they listen to what’s said in the courtroom and take it under advisement,” she said.
The Medicaid funding Planned Parenthood receives is designated for the healthcare services of low-income women. Cockrum said that funding never has been used for abortion services according to federal law. Planned Parenthood is relying on private donations to continue offering healthcare services to existing Medicaid patients. The case will be heard in U.S. district court on June 6.