Judge’s Ruling Comes Just as Funding Was Set to Expire
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INDIANAPOLIS – A federal judge granted a request by Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) to temporarily halt the enforcement of a recently passed state law that strips the organization of Medicaid funding. U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt’s decision means that PPIN can once again be reimbursed for the preventive health care it provides its 9,300 Medicaid patients. PPIN is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).
The judge found that there was merit to PPIN’s claim that the new law violates the U.S. Constitution and federal law. She ruled that the Medicaid defunding portion of the law should not be enforced during this interim period before a permanent injunction hearing takes place, likely before the year is out.
“This decision will have immediate, positive consequences for our patients and our organization, the state’s largest reproductive health care provider,” said PPIN President and CEO Betty Cockrum. “We’ve been caring for our established Medicaid patients through donations, which were set to run out June 20. This ruling means we can continue providing Pap tests, breast exams, STD testing and treatment and birth control to both existing and new Medicaid patients. It also means that we have avoided the difficult decision to close health centers and lay off staff members while the permanent injunction we are seeking is pending.”
“This is a positive first step in what promises to be a long legal battle,” said Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana and lead counsel in the case. “We are encouraged by the judge’s ruling but know we have a very long way to go before we can ultimately declare victory.”
PPIN also contended that the law would force health care professionals to make statements about the beginning of life that are not medically and scientifically sound, in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Judge Pratt ruled that this portion of the law will not go into effect July 1.
More information on this case can be found at: www.aclu.org/reproductive-freedom/planned-parenthood-indiana-inc-et-al-v...