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7th Circuit affirms block on Planned Parenthood defunding

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An injunction against an Indiana law that blocks state Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood has been upheld by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Inc., et al. v. Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health, et al., 11-2464, the court affirmed the decision by U.S. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, who granted a preliminary injunction against enforcing I.C. 5-22-17-5.5(b) that bars providing state or federal funds to “any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed.”

Immediately after the defunding law was enacted in 2011, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and several plaintiffs filed this lawsuit seeking to block the law’s implementation. The law prohibits abortion providers from receiving any state-administered funds, even if the money is earmarked for other services.

The appellate court held that Medicaid grants individual rights enforceable under U.S.C. Section 1983. The ruling was less clear with regard to the law’s efforts to prevent federal block-grant dollars from being provided to Planned Parenthood. The court held that the District Court likely erred in ruling in favor of Planned Parenthood on that issue, finding the block-grant program does not create actionable rights under U.S.C. Section 1983.

Judge Richard Cudahy joined the majority in other aspects but dissented on that point, writing, “I believe the issue of unconstitutional conditions should be remanded to the district court for development of the record with respect to any possible imposition of a burden on access to abortions.”

Writing for the majority, Judge Diane S. Sykes wrote, “Planned Parenthood is likely to succeed on (the Medicaid Act) claim. Although Indiana has broad authority to exclude unqualified providers from its Medicaid program, the state does not have plenary authority to exclude a class of providers for any reason — more particularly, for a reason unrelated to provider qualifications.

“The defunding law excludes Planned Parenthood from Medicaid for a reason unrelated to its fitness to provide medical services, violating its patients’ statutory right to obtain medical care from the qualified provider of their choice.”

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a statement that the 49-page decision was being reviewed to determine how best to proceed with defending the statute.

“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.”

The case goes back to Walton Pratt for modification of the injunction.

 

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  1. Such things are no more elections than those in the late, unlamented Soviet Union.

  2. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

  3. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  4. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  5. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

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