A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday (October 23) that the state of Indiana cannot withhold federal Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood simply because they dislike abortion. The appeals court ruling was an upholding of a decision made over a year ago, in June 2011, by a lower court that blocked a law that would have stopped Indiana’s Planned Parenthood from acquiring Medicaid funds.
In a statement to Huffington Post, the Planned Parenthood of Indiana President Betty Cockrum said, “”We’re really pleased, particularly in Indiana where the economy continues to be a challenge, that it’s so clearly affirmed by the Seventh Circuit Court that it’s appropriate for us to continue to serve as Medicaid providers. We’ve got 9,300 Medicaid patients, men and women, who rely on us for health and family planning services such as birth control, pap tests, breast exams and STD tests.”
The main argument against Planned Parenthood by conservative politicians is that it provides abortion services. However, Medicaid funding does not go toward abortions, as Huffington Post goes on to report:
The Hyde Amendment already prohibits the federal funding of abortion services, except in cases of rape or incest, so the Medicaid money that flows to Planned Parenthood clinics can only be used for other health care and family planning services. But state Republican lawmakers in Indiana argued when they passed the defunding law that taxpayers do not want to support an organization that performs abortions, regardless of who pays for those services.
“The fundamental issue is that when we take tax dollars and fund any entity that performs abortions, we’re forcing taxpayers to support a practice that many feel is objectionable,” State Sen. Scott Schneider (R-Indianapolis), the author of the provision to cut Planned Parenthood’s funding, told HuffPost in an April 2011 interview.
It seems that the partisan fight over abortion has been exposed for what it is: utter nonsense. If you don’t want an abortion or want to fund abortions, don’t get one.