Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels recently signed a bill that eliminated public funding for Planned Parenthood. It also banned abortions after 20 weeks, required women considering abortions to receive written information about the procedure and its alternatives, and required doctors to provide ready access to emergency care for women injured during abortion procedures. The bill makes Indiana the first state to prevent Medicaid funds from going to Planned Parenthood.
In response to complaints that defunding Planned Parenthood would jeopardize the health of women, Governor Daniels “commissioned a careful review of access to services across the state and can confirm that all non-abortion services, whether family planning or basic women’s health, will remain readily available in every one of our 92 counties.” He promised to “take any actions necessary to ensure that vital medical care is, if anything, more widely available than before.” He even allowed that organizations such as Planned Parenthood could get their sweet, sweet taxpayer funding back… provided they stopped performing abortions.
Planned Parenthood didn’t care for this bill, and they weren’t about to shut down that lucrative abortion machine, so they asked U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt to block its implementation. Today she declined this request, so the new law will go into effect while Planned Parenthood’s legal and constitutional challenges make their way through the courts.
As reported by the Indianapolis Star, the judge “said from the bench that today’s ruling should not be viewed as an indication of how she will rule on the law’s constitutionality.” She didn’t stop the law from taking effect because she found no danger of “immediate” and “irreversible harm” to Planned Parenthood of Indiana, which has plenty of time to bill its Medicaid expenses, plus a hefty emergency fund. It will also continue to receive a couple of million dollars per year in federal funding.
In its pending lawsuit, Planned Parenthood argues that defunding them would “void contracts and grants already in effect, violating the U.S. Constitution’s contract clause.” They also maintain that forcing them to choose between performing abortions, and receiving funds not directly related to abortion, is both unconstitutional and a violation of Medicaid law.
This brings us back to the infinite flexibility of money. Every dollar taxpayers are compelled to give Planned Parenthood frees up a dollar to be used for any operations it conducts. It’s absurd to speak of public funding as somehow sanitized because it comes in envelopes that say “DO NOT USE FOR ABORTIONS.”
Ostensibly free Americans are forced to give far too much money to wealthy corporations – a point the Left suddenly loses interest in making, when the corporation in question is Planned Parenthood. We can at least grant the taxpayers relief from subsidizing activities they consider an outright moral horror. Then we can work our way back through the stuff they merely regard as stupid.
The Star notes that Governor Daniels’ signature of this bill “has added to speculation that he will seek the Republican presidential nomination. The move could be viewed as a way to reassure Republican primary voters. Earlier this year, social conservatives criticized the governor for calling for a truce on social issues.” I don’t think Planned Parenthood is interested in truces any longer. Today, they couldn’t even get a cease-fire.