October 24, 2012 — The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld an injunction against an Indiana law prohibiting the distribution of state and federal Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood of Indiana and other organizations that offer abortion services, the AP/Washington Post reports.
In June 2011, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt issued a temporary injunction blocking parts of the law, but the state appealed.
The appeals court upheld a core portion of Pratt's ruling that said Indiana cannot bar qualified Medicaid providers that also provide abortions from collecting Medicaid funds for any services. The law violates patients' right to choose their medical providers, the appeals court said (AP/Washington Post, 10/23).
Judge Diane Sykes noted in the ruling that while the law violated Medicaid regulations, it did not "impermissibly burden" a woman's right to an abortion. Sykes reasoned that because courts have upheld bans on public funding of abortion, the state's "ban on funding for abortion providers -- even for unrelated services -- cannot indirectly burden a woman's right to obtain an abortion."
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) had no immediate comment on Tuesday (Palazzolo, "Law Blog," Wall Street Journal, 10/23).
Talcott Camp, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Reproductive Freedom Project, said, "This law was an attempt by politicians to punish organizations that are providing legal services," adding, "Elected officials should not place politics above women's health" (Bassett, Huffington Post, 10/23).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership