NEWSFLASH: Women’s Health Victory in Indiana

planned parenthoodOn Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed without comment an appeal of the Seventh Circuit Court decision to block an Indiana state law that would ban Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funding. Why does the state want it defunded? Because Planned Parenthood clinics offer abortion services—along with all sorts of other medical care.

Some Republican state lawmakers argued that taxpayer money was inadvertently funding abortions provided through Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that the organization does not use any of its Medicaid funding for abortion cases, in accordance with the Hyde Amendment. More than 9,300 Indiana Medicaid patients go to Planned Parenthood for a variety of treatments, and therefore the ban would have restricted their access to affordable services.

The Seventh Circuit Court initially blocked the state law in October 2012 because it violates federal law by restricting the freedom of Medicaid enrollees to choose any qualified health provider. Judges have blocked similar anti-Medicaid measures in Tennessee, North Carolina, Kansas and Arizona.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement,

Today’s announcement from the Supreme Court is not only a victory for Planned Parenthood’s patients in Indiana, it is a victory for the nearly 3 million people who turn to Planned Parenthood health centers each year across the country.

Photo by Flickr user S. MiRK under license from Creative Commons 2.0



Natasha Turner is a freelance journalist and editor based in London and a former Ms. editorial intern.