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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

ind. Decisions - "ACLU of Indiana Wins Appeal in Planned Parenthood Medicaid Case" [Updated]

That is the heading of this just-issued ACLU press release that begins:

Indianapolis - Thousands of Medicaid patients in Indiana had their freedom to choose a medical provider affirmed today when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction of a law that would have denied Medicaid funding to health care providers.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana prevailed in the class action on behalf of its clients, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and others, including two patients. Without the injunction, HEA 1210 -- the law passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2011 -- would have prohibited Medicaid funds from going to any entity that offered abortions, even though the Medicaid funds go to necessary reproductive health services and do not support abortion services.

Here is the ILB post from earlier today on the 7th Circuit ruling.

[Updated at 4 PM]

Here is Indiana Attorney General Zoeller’s statement on 7th Circuit’s Medicaid defunding opinion. Some quotes:

Today a federal appeals court ruled in the legal challenge to an Indiana statute that would end Medicaid funding to abortion providers. The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago agreed with the lower court that had blocked enforcement of the Indiana law, House Enrolled Act 1210. The federal appeals court today left in place a preliminary injunction pertaining to Medicaid funding that a federal judge in Indianapolis had issued last year. This means the plaintiff in the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood of Indiana, can continue to draw Medicaid funding from state taxpayers to fund its services.

However, in today’s 2-1 decision, the 7th Circuit panel reversed part of the lower court’s ruling of last year. The appeals court said the State of Indiana was within its authority to discontinue funding from two federal grants Planned Parenthood had received totaling $150,000 from the Disease Intervention Services (DIS) program. The 7th Circuit majority decision said Planned Parenthood had not shown its rights had been violated when the State made a decision about eligibility conditions for disbursing the federal block grant. * * *

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller today issued this statement: “The people’s elected representatives in the Legislature decided they did not want an indirect subsidy of abortion services such as payroll and overhead to be paid with taxpayer’s dollars and so crafted this law. Although the injunction concerning Medicaid funding was not lifted, we note that the 7th Circuit found the State has the legal authority to decide how federal block-grant dollars – which are tax dollars – will be distributed. We will review this opinion more thoroughly with our clients before deciding how best to continue to defend the Indiana law,” Zoeller said.

Here are stories from Charles Wilson of the AP, and Andrew Harris of Bloomberg News.

The WSJ Law Blog puts the ruling in context in a story by Joe Palazzolo, headed "Appeals Court Blocks Indiana Law to De-Fund Abortion Providers."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 23, 2012 11:30 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions