U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Consider Planned Parenthood Funding Issue

Indiana State Line, US 136

Indiana State Line, US 136 (Photo credit: mobilene)

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case in which the 7th Circuit determined that Indiana could not condition providers’ Medicaid eligibility on whether they also provided elective abortions.  According to the 7th Circuit, Indiana’s defunding law excluded 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.

The 7th Circuit decision will stand.  Note, however, that the ruling here is relatively narrow.  From the 7th Circuit’s opinion:

The [federal] Hyde Amendment already forbids states from using federal funds to pay for most non-therapeutic abortions; Indiana has a similar ban on the use of state funds. The new law goes a step further by prohibiting abortion providers from receiving any state-administered funds, even if the money is earmarked for other services. The point is to eliminate the indirect subsidization of abortion.

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