UPDATE, 1:40p: Shock, the judge has decided not to issue a restraining order as she mulls the case!


10:34a: Yesterday Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (pictured above) signed a new law that makes his state the 1st in the country to cut off federal funding to Planned Parenthood. The law specifies the state cannot enter into contracts with businesses that provide abortions, excluding hospitals hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers. Obviously, PP is the target.

This amounts to roughly $3 million annually, or 20% of PPIN’s budget, according to its president, Betty Cockrum. PPIN owns 28 clinics, 4 of which commit abortions.

The new law took effect immediately, but PPIN and the ACLU likewise immediately filed a motion in court to block it. US District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt (pictured right) is expected to rule on their request for a restraining order today. Pratt is an Obama appointee, so don’t hold your breath on the outcome of this 1st legal step of many. At issue is Medicaid funding. The other side’s argument, according to the Los Angeles Times:

PP says the measure is unconstitutional and violates federal law. It says 22,000 patients could be left without access to Pap tests and other non-abortion services.

More from HuffPo:

ACLU of IN Legal Director Ken Falk said… the public funding has nothing to do with abortion and is used to provide necessary medical services, primarily to women.

“Family planning dollars fund preventive health services that are critical to low-income and vulnerable women and their families,” Falk said. “It is unlawful, unnecessary and cruel to deny these populations health services that they desperately need.”

Oh puleeze. Step back: PP is claiming a state violates federal law if not funding PP for low-income women’s health  services? As if PP’s the only one? Never mind doctors offices, Federally Qualified Health Clinics, county health departments, or immediate care clinics. This is IN’s argument, according to USA Today:

Daniels, though, said his administration reviewed women’s access to services “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. In addition, I have ordered the Family and Social Services Administration to see that Medicaid recipients receive prompt notice of nearby care options. We will take any actions necessary to ensure that vital medical care is, if anything, more widely available than before.”

IN’s new law is not only great on its face, it affords pro-lifers a teachable moment to dispel PP’s pretense that it is the only entity that provides low income women’s healthcare.  It most certainly is not.

In fact, PP is a woefully inadequate healthcare provider.

Think about it. PPIN only has 28 clinics throughout the entire state. And they only serve a very small segment of women’s healthcare needs, whereas the other entities I mentioned provide wholistic healthcare, not just for women but for their entire families.

If a woman goes to PP for a pap smear and has any other nongyne complaint or need whatsoever – earache, cold, pinkeye, ingrown toenail, etc. – PP can’t help. But the others can.

[Top photo via the Huffington Post]

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