A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Indiana can’t cut off funding for Planned Parenthood just because the organization provides abortion, contrary to a 2011 law signed by Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels. That law was the first time a state denied Planned Parenthood Medicaid funds for general health services, including cancer screenings.
Indiana stepped between women and their physicians when it enacted a law that blocked Medicaid funds for Planned Parenthood just because the organization provides abortions, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
The ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago effectively upheld decisions by a district judge and a Medicaid review panel that found the 2011 law denied patients the right to choose their own health care provider.
"This is not about an abortion case. This is a case about Medicaid services - non-abortion-related services - and the attempt by the state of Indiana to punish Planned Parenthood and its clients from receiving non-abortion health services merely because Planned Parenthood, without any sort of state or federal money or any Medicaid funds, also provides abortions," Ken Falk, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, said at a news conference in Indianapolis following Tuesday's decision. The ACLU argued the case on behalf of Planned Parenthood.
A federal judge in Phoenix last week blocked Arizona from applying a similar law to Planned Parenthood. A similar law in Texas also is the focus of a court fight.