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Planned Parenthood Takes A Breath After Long Funds Battle

Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana are back to business as usual, after Federal Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled late Friday that federal Medicaid rules prohibit the state from picking and choosing among family-planning providers. Two planned parenthood H-I-V specialists who were laid off last Tuesday after funding ran dry are back on the job. And Planned Parenthood has shelved plans to limit clinic hours, as it had last week.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller contended that Planned Parenthood had no right to go to court, because the state had not yet exhausted its administrative appeals of the agency ruling; a spokesman for Zoeller said the state planned to appeal Pratt‘s ruling.

Meanwhile, after the long battle over defunding bill—first in Congress and then at the Statehouse—Planned Parenthood of Indiana President Betty Cockrum said it was the first time all year that she and her staff, which covers 28 locations statewide, were able to let their guard down a little. "Litigation is not my idea of a good time," she said. "It's expensive, it's distracting. But we have to figure out what's right."

The organization fought successfully against Sixth District Congressman Mike Pence‘s attempt to push a defunding law through congress, then unsuccessfully against the parallel measure at the statehouse. Cockrum acknowledged that a Chicago-based appeals court could revive the law, but said the organization will deal with that if it happens.

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