The US Supreme Court won’t discuss Indiana’s case against Planned Parenthood. The country’s highest court declined on Tuesday to review a lower court decision that would prevent the state from cutting Planned Parenthood out of its Medicaid program.
The decision was a victory for advocates of the network of clinics, who have fought for months against Indiana’s decision to defund it.
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, a Republican, signed the controversial bill into law in 2011. The measure prevents Medicaid recipients from being reimbursed for any health services they received at a Planned Parenthood clinic, because some of them offer abortions as well.
The clinic, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, challenged the law in court. In October 2012, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to permanently block the law, citing the fact that federal law guarantees Medicaid enrollees can have the freedom to choose any qualified health care provider.
The topic is contentious, because some Republican lawmakers have argued that Planned Parenthood should not receive any federal funding, because some of its clinics provide abortions. However, none of the federal money can be used to pay for the procedure, unless it was in the case of rape, incest, or if the mother’s life was in danger.
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, released a statement about the Supreme Court’s decision to decline reviewing the case. Richards stated:
“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 three million people who turn to Planned Parenthood health centers each year across the country.”
Courts have blocked attempts to defund Planned Parenthood in several states since 2011, including Tennessee, North Carolina, Kansas, Arizona, and Indiana. However, Planned Parenthood was denied preliminary injunctions against defunding laws in Texas and Oklahoma.
The federal government, in response, has pulled all family planning funding from Texas because of the defunding law. The state is now paying $200 million for the next five years to support its own Women’s Health Program.
Do you think the US Supreme Court should have heard the case by Indiana against Planned Parenthood? Should the organization’s clinics receive federal funding?
[Image via Hourick]