I was very pleased to get this e-mail tonight after writing about this Wednesday:
Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) is thrilled to announce that U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt has granted its motion for a preliminary injunction to halt the enforcement of the new dangerous state law that strips Medicaid funding from PPIN.
The decision comes after a rocky week for PPIN. The organization had to stop seeing Medicaid patients Tuesday, lay off two employees, and furlough all employees for one day.
The injunction is excellent news for the organization. It means that PPIN can once again be reimbursed for the preventive health care it provides its 9,300 Medicaid patients and is now restored as a preferred provider under Medicaid and will remain as such as the lawsuit continues and until a final resolution is reached.
“This decision will have immediate, positive consequences for our patients and our organization, the state’s largest reproductive health care provider,” said PPIN President and CEO Betty Cockrum. “This ruling means we can once again provide Pap tests, breast exams, STD testing and treatment and birth control to both existing and new Medicaid patients. It also means that we have avoided the difficult decision to close health centers and lay off more staff members while the permanent injunction we are seeking is pending.”
PPIN is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana (ACLU of Indiana) and the case is being led by Legal Director Ken Falk.
“This is a positive step in what likely will be a long legal battle,” Falk said. “We are encouraged by the judge’s ruling, but know our work is not yet done.”
PPIN also contended that thanks to HEA 1210, its health care professionals would be forced to make statements to patients that are not medically and scientifically based, also in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Judge Pratt agreed and ruled that portions of the law requiring medical professionals to say that a fetus can feel pain at or before 20 weeks post-fertilization will not go into effect July 1. However, a portion requiring that medical professionals tell a woman that human physical life begins at conception must be implemented.
I wish this decision had been made last month, and that the language about life beginning at conception had been struck down, but this is progress. I know 9,300 Hoosiers are very relieved tonight.