A federal judge in Indianapolis today refused to block the implementation of a new Indiana law that de-funds Planned Parenthood.
Existing law already prohibits tax dollars from directly paying for abortions.
Indiana lawmakers took things one step further by denying tax dollars to entities or organizations that provide abortions.
“Well, I think this does take it a step further, we’re not going to subsidize abortions. We’re not going to pay for the lights, and the facilities, and everything else where you perform abortions,” said Ind. Rep. Timothy Wesco, (R) Mishawaka.
Ind. Rep. Wes Culver, (R) Goshen, was a co-sponsor of House Bill 1210. “There’s many Hoosiers that are morally, ethically opposed to abortion and it didn’t seem right to force those people to subsidize companies that do abortions and so this is just merely saying that taxpayers would not fund companies that perform abortions.”
The sign in front of the Mishawaka Planned Parenthood clinic today read: “Don’t let politics trump medicine.”
“I think Mitch Daniels may be thinking about this in terms of collateral damage, he may be selling out tens of thousands of Hoosiers for a presidential bid and if that is the case, I think it’s a really craven decision,” said April Lidinsky, Co Chairperson of the Community Advisory Board for Planned Parenthood of Northcentral Indiana.
The bill that Daniels signed on Tuesday is one that is bound to attract national attention. “It is uncharted waters for a state to do what Indiana has done,” said Rep. Culver. “People want to test it in the courts, you’ve got to start sometime, somewhere, might as well be Indiana.”
Despite the setback in court today, Planned Parenthood doesn’t believe the state can legally do—what it wants to do, “Well, I want to remind people that abortion is a legal procedure in this country, and I mean, I don’t know what to say,” said Lidinsky.
Some state officials clearly believe that Planned Parenthood should stop doing—what it is doing: “And remember, there’s a choice too for these organizations that provide other services to chose not to perform abortions anymore,” said Rep. Wesco.
Lidinsky says that about three percent of the services provided by Planned Parenthood have to do with abortions, and that the organization has 9,300 Medicad clients statewide who come for other reasons.
“For cervical screenings, for pap tests, for birth control, that’s where this is really going to hurt the most,” said Lidinsky.
The overall court battle still has a long way to go. Today’s decision dealt only with an emergency request for injunctive relief.
The parties will return for a hearing on the request for an injunction on June 6.