Judge Denies Planned Parenthood's Restraining Order Against The State

By Scott Sarvay
By Maureen Mespell

May 11, 2011 Updated May 11, 2011 at 5:57 PM EDT

INDIANA (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt decided Wednesday not to grant Planned Parenthood of Indiana’s request for a temporary restraining order against the state.

The state contends there are other options for Medicaid patients seeking care and issued a list of Medicaid providers across the state. However, it is unclear how many of those providers actually offer the same family planning services as Planned Parenthood and whether they are even accepting new Medicaid clients.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller this statement:

“While the underlying issues of this case will be argued at a later date, today’s ruling allows the statute the Legislature passed to remain in effect, for the time being. Whenever the constitutionality of any Indiana law is challenged in court, it's the duty of the Indiana Attorney General under Indiana Code 4-6-2-1 to defend that statute from the legal challenge. This legislation has generated strong emotions on all sides; and my office will provide a vigorous legal defense for the statute -- just as we defended the Voter ID law, the Major Moves law and other new laws that were challenged,” Moeller said. “Our state-agency clients indicated they would keep Medicaid providers and the public apprised of changes in funding; and we will prepare for the June 6 preliminary injunction hearing in the meantime.”

During the initial hearing, the state agreed that the new law would not apply to Title V and Title XX federal family planning funds.

Despite the denial of the temporary restraining order, the court must still rule on the larger issues in the case and the request for an injunction. The hearing on the injunction is set for June 6, 2011.

Indiana’s new abortion law will cut off two of the three million dollars in federal funding that Planned Parenthood receives in Indiana.

Another argument is that the measure violates Medicaid law.

Planned Parenthood President Betty Cockrum says, “If that intent were met, then there are 22,000 low income Hoosiers who lose their pap tests, who lose their STD testing and their birth control. It's a very bad direction."

The director of Indiana Right to Life hopes the state law, one of the strictest in the nation, becomes the model for other states to adopt.

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