Indiana says abortion fight’s with feds, not Planned Parenthood

June 6, 2011

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(Photo by Getty Images)
Attorneys for Planned Parenthood of Indiana wre in court this morning in Indianapolis.

The legal battle to restore funding to Planned Parenthood of Indiana continued in an Indianapolis federal courtroom Monday morning.

Lawyers for Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union are seeking an injunction to restore $3 million dollars in federal Medicaid funding.

A recently enacted Indiana law prevents money going to agencies that perform abortion, including Planned Parenthood. The law is the first of its kind in the nation.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says the state shouldn’t be locked in a court battle with Planned Parenthood.

“The state’s position is that any dispute over Indiana’s Medicaid provider qualifications really belong between the federal government and the state of Indiana,” Zoeller said following the hearing. “My office stands ready to defend Indiana’s statute in the proper forum with the proper party.”

The head of the federal Medicaid program, Donald Berwick, said last week that Indiana’s law is illegal and, if it’s not changed, the state could face penalties.

Planned Parenthood provides general health care services to 9,300 Medicaid patients in 28 centers around the state.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt said she’ll rule on Planned Parenthood’s injunction request by the end of the month.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels approved the law last month saying most Hoosiers oppose abortion.

Daniels contends women in Indiana have other options in seeking medical care other than Planned Parenthood.

The law also bans abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy unless there is a substantial threat to the woman's life or health.