“The State does not have plenary authority to exclude a class of providers for any reason…” says three-judge panel.
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INDIANAPOLIS – Thousands of Medicaid patients in Indiana had their freedom to choose a medical provider affirmed today when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction of a law that would have denied Medicaid funding to health care providers.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana prevailed in the class action on behalf of its clients, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and others, including two patients. Without the injunction, HEA 1210—the law passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2011—would have prohibited Medicaid funds from going to any entity that offered abortions, even though the Medicaid funds go to necessary reproductive health services and do not support abortion services.
Ken Falk, legal director for the ACLU of Indiana, applauded the appellate court’s holding that federal law protects the right of Medicaid patients to choose a health care provider free of interference from the State. “We are extremely happy that the Court of Appeals has upheld the trial court’s decision so that thousands of Hoosiers can continue to receive necessary medical care.”
ACLU of Indiana Executive Director Jane Henegar said, “The ACLU of Indiana commends the Court for its ruling, which will protect the liberties of thousands of Hoosiers. Lawmakers across the country are watching the resolution of this case. The ACLU of Indiana is on the front lines of protecting the individual rights and liberties of health care providers and the women they serve.”
“This law was an attempt by politicians to punish organizations that are providing legal services,” said Talcott Camp, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “Elected officials should not place politics above women’s health.”
PPIN President and CEO Betty Cockrum said, “At a time when Hoosiers are struggling, it’s shameful that our elected officials are spending their time, and our tax dollars, on cutting basic health care services – such as preventing unintended pregnancies – and restricting basic rights, rather than focusing on what we need most in Indiana: jobs for our hard-working neighbors and access to high-quality, affordable health care.”
ACLU of Indiana
Today’s ruling, Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Inc., et al., v. Indiana State Department of Health, et al., was entered in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit under cause number 11-2464. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, cause number 1:11-cv-630-TWP-DKL. Read the full opinion.