Judge Set to Hear Arguments in Indiana Planned Parenthood Funding Case

June 6, 2011

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R) recently signed a bill into law that would prevent any clinics that also provide abortions from receiving Medicaid funds for non-abortion services such as family planning.

In response, the federal Department of Health and Human Services sent state officials a letter stating that “Medicaid programs may not exclude qualified health care providers from providing services that are funded under the program because of a provider’s scope of practice.” In other words, states can’t refuse to let a clinic take Medicaid money for birth control and cancer screenings just because they also provide abortions – the law is intended to give patients a free choice of providers.

A U.S. district judge will hear arguments today on possibly halting enforcement of the law.

There is a nice summary of the arguments in the Women’s Health Policy Report, along with a link to a Slate piece that provides additional background and criticism of this and related efforts. The case may have implications in other states where similar “defund Planned Parenthood” measures are being debated.