Monday, May 23, 2011
The federal government has objected to Indiana's effort to block federal family planning dollars from going to Planned Parenthood in the state. Under legislation passed this year, Indiana would no longer cover cancer screening, treatment of sexually transmitted diseases or other services at Planned Parenthood clinics in its Medicaid program. As the New York Times reported today, Indiana's law violates the federal requirement that states permit Medicaid beneficiaries freedom of choice in choosing their health care providers.
In a surprising decision two weeks ago, a federal district court denied Planned Parenthood's request for a temporary restraining order. The statute also raises serious constitutional questions with its definition of viability at 20 weeks, its requirement that doctors tell women that their fetuses can experience pain, and other provisions.