Federal judge on eliminating Planned Parenthood funding: Not so fast

Alec Jacobs Contributor
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A federal judge in Indiana has stopped enforcement of the state’s law that would eliminate Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood, National Journal reports.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt found that there was merit to the argument made by the Indiana Planned Parenthood. The group claimed that the new law violates federal law and the Constitution. Pratt ruled that while the case moves through the judicial system, Medicaid funds should continue to go to Planned Parenthood.

(White House protects abortion provider, allows cuts to community health centers)

The ruling is a victory for the organization which provides family planning services as well as abortions, and which has become a favorite target of conservatives looking to cut from the budget.

Betty Cockrum, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, says the group has “been caring for our established Medicaid patients through donations, which were set to run out June 20.” Planned Parenthood of Indiana sees 9,300 Medicaid patients.

“This ruling means … we have avoided the difficult decision to close health centers and lay off staff members while the permanent injunction we are seeking is pending.”

The American Civil Liberties Union also celebrated the halting of the law, which
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed in May. The state’s ACLU legal director Ken Falk said, “This is a positive first step in what promises to be a long legal battle. We are encouraged by the judge’s ruling but know we have a very long way to go before we can ultimately declare victory.”