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Planned Parenthood in court today seeking injunction

A federal judge in Indianapolis will hear arguments Monday morning on whether to grant an injunction blocking an Indiana law that bans funding for Planned Parenthood in Indiana. 

Lawyers for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and the American Civil Liberties Union are seeking the injunction to restore funding. They say the law illegally blocks $4 million in federal Medicaid funding intended for low income clients seeking family planning services.

The law blocks funding for any agency that performs abortion or agencies that deal directly with agencies that offers abortions.

Betty Cockrum, director of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, says at least two other state agencies warned state lawmakers of the legal implications of restricting funds to agencies offering abortions. The agencies are the Family and Social Services Administration of Indiana and Indiana Legislative Services.

“A number of sources have been incredibly consistent, even before the bill was passed, and certainly before the governor signed it,” Cockrum told WBEZ late last week. “There’s no surprise here. So, it’s a very helpful thing going into court on Monday.”

Last week, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told Indiana that the law is illegal and must be changed or the state could be penalized.  The Indiana Attorney General’s office said it intends to defend the law.

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.

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