INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana started seeing
Medicaid patients again Saturday, the day after a federal judge ruled the
state couldn’t cut off the organization’s public funding for general health
services just because it also provides abortions.
Parenthood spokeswoman Kate Shepherd said she didn’t know how many Medicaid
patients had visited the group’s 28 clinics since Friday night’s federal
court ruling, but the clinics usually average about 80 a day.
“Saturday is one
of the busier days because people don’t have to take off work, and they can
get family members to watch their children,” Shepherd said.
Parenthood of Indiana has been without Medicaid funding since May 10, when
Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels signed the law that cut off about $1.4 million
and made Indiana the first state to deny the organization Medicaid funds for
services such as breast exams and Pap tests.
Parenthood, which serves about 9,300 Indiana clients on the state-federal
health insurance plan for low-income and disabled people, was forced to stop
seeing Medicaid patients this week after private donations that had paid
those patients’ bills ran out.
the group was trying to get the word out to Medicaid patients that they
could start coming back Saturday. She said she believed some clinics with
close relationships with their Medicaid patients were phoning to tell them
they could return.
“They’re so very
happy to be able to say to their patients, ‘We’d love to see you again,’”
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt’s Friday ruling blocked parts of a tough new
abortion law and granted Planned Parenthood of Indiana’s request for an
injunction on the state’s move to defund the organization. The decision
sides with federal officials who said states cannot restrict Medicaid
recipients’ freedom to choose their health care provider or disqualify
Medicaid providers merely because they also offer abortions.
general’s office spokesman Bryan Corbin said the state likely will appeal.
State Sen. Scott
Schneider, an Indianapolis Republican who sponsored the measure to defund
Planned Parenthood, said the state should appeal.
ruling is disappointing in my opinion. In my opinion, it’s judicial
activism,” he said.
was part of a double setback for Indiana conservatives by federal judges
Friday. U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker granted a request for an
injunction blocking two provisions of the state’s new immigration law,
saying the law was the latest failed effort of states to deal with a
primarily federal issue.
Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and the National Immigration Law Center
sued the state in May, contending the law gives police sweeping powers to
arrest immigrants who haven’t committed crimes.
State Sen. Mike
Delph, a Republican from Carmel who authored the immigration law, said the
judges in both cases overreached.
what this shows is a judicial branch of government that is out of touch with
the people of Indiana. It shows a liberalism that is not in sync with the
wishes of the people of Indiana,” he said Saturday.