A federal appeals court has told Indiana it must use tax dollars
to fund abortions. A law passed by the legislature last year
removed the funds from Planned Parenthood.
The Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that
Indiana cannot eliminate the funding just because the abortion
giant provides abortions. Indiana became the first state to deny
Planned Parenthood Medicaid funds when Governor Mitch Daniels
signed it into law in May 2011.
Mary Spaulding Balch of the National Right to Life Committee tells
OneNewsNow today's ruling is disappointing.
"The most troubling aspect
of the decision is that now the Indiana taxpayers are being forced
by court order to continue to pay for abortions," she laments.
"Whether it's direct or indirect, Planned Parenthood is going to
have more money to spend that will enable them to do more abortions
-- and that is obviously troubling."
Balch is hopeful the Indiana legislature will revisit the
"You don't have to fund all non-profit organizations in your
state," she explains. "What you can do is figure out a system where
the money that you are using for tax dollars is going towards
something that you really want to support."
The Texas legislature developed a law that allowed de-funding of
Planned Parenthood, and
that law has been upheld by the Fifth Circuit. Balch concludes
it is all a matter of how the legislation is worded.
Appeal to SCOTUS?
Indiana Right to
Life spokesperson Mike Fichter tells OneNewsNow his
organization is encouraging Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller
to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
find a silver lining in it in that the court does give Indiana the
right to keep Planned Parenthood funding out of state block grants,
but that's the small chunk of the money," Fichter explains. "The
big chunk was in Medicaid funding -- and unfortunately the federal
courts are now forcing Indiana to include Planned Parenthood in all
of its Medicaid funding."
The law to defund the abortion business, he says, represents the
majority will of the people of the state.
"What you have here are unelected federal judges telling the
state of Indiana what it must fund, even though the vast majority
of duly elected Indiana legislators voted for this legislation,"
says the pro-life leader. "It passed by a huge margin -- and yet
here we have a federal court stepping onto the sovereignty of
Indiana telling it [that] it must send Medicaid funding to the
state's largest abortion business."
Fichter's guess is that the legislature will want to see the
case work its way through the Supreme Court before considering any