A few days ago, I wrote about how Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana were barred from receiving Medicaid funds for non-abortion services. But now comes good news from the Hoosier State: a U.S. District Judge has ruled in favor of PP, and granted an injunction against the defunding law. Judge Tanya Pratt also put a hold on a fetal-pain provision in the law, which would have required that doctors tell women seeking abortions that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks or less gestation. (Republican Rep. Sue Ellspermann, who wrote the original draft of the fetal-pain language, has admitted that she did not consult any doctors, studies, or scientists while preparing the legislation – though she does say that she has seen video of a fetus “shying away” from a needle.)
As the Indianapolis Star reports, Judge Pratt “ruled that the defunding law violates federal Medicaid rules and “will exact a devastating financial toll on PPIN and hinder its ability to continue serving patients’ general health needs.” ” Neither the defunding measure nor the fetal pain provision can be enforced while Planned Parenthood’s legal challenge is being heard; however, a provision that requires physicians to inform patients that life begins at fertilization was upheld.
There have also been “unintended consequences” as a result of the court case. According to the Fond Du Lac Reporter, doctors at two state hospitals stopped offering patients the choice of terminating their pregnancies several weeks ago, including cases where the fetus had no chance of survival and where the woman’s health was at serious risk.
Hopefully, the injunction means that not only will Planned Parenthood clinics remain open, but that women can get the full range of options and care that they deserve.