No relief for Planned Parenthood

May 11, 2011

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A federal judge will not stop Indiana’s new abortion law from going into effect.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt denied Planned Parenthood of Indiana's request for a temporary restraining order Wednesday, despite arguments that the law jeopardizes health care for thousands of women. The result is that the law will block $3 million in federal funding to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.

An attorney for Planned Parenthood said the law could force it to close 13 of its 28 clinics statewide and force layoffs of employees.  But so far the cuts won’t hamper Planned Parenthood’s office in Gary.  Manager Martiza Torres says her office will open at 11 a.m. Thursday and will continue to see patients, but now, poor patients can’t use Medicaid to pay for services.

“We will continue to see patients, informing them that their Medicaid will not be in effect here but we’re still going to take care of them,” Torres said. “We’re going to keep going until they shut us down or they say can’t see anymore.”

Indiana's Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels says a large majority of Hoosiers support the law, which is why he signed it. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office is defending the law in court. 

“This legislation has generated strong emotions on all sides; and my office will provide a vigorous legal defense for the statute,” Zoeller said in a written statement.

A federal judge is set to take another look at Indiana’s abortion restrictions in early June.