Zoeller Says Federal Challenge Should Take Precedent Over Planned Parenthood Case

by Gabe Bullard on June 6, 2011

The American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and the Indiana Attorney General were in court today to debate the legality of a state statute that blocks public funding to Planned Parenthood.

The law blocks any of Indiana’s Medicaid dollars from going to the organization or any other that provides abortions, though federal funding already cannot be used for abortions.

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU argue that the state cannot restrict patients’ healthcare options healthcare. Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office argues that the state can, if the General Assembly approves it. Further, Zoeller’s office says Planned Parenthood doesn’t have the authority to challenge the law in court.

A ruling on the case is expected by July 1.

Zoeller also argued that court is the wrong venue for debate on the law. The federal government has threatened to pull the $4 billion in Medicaid funding Indiana receives if the law is enforced. The state is appealing the decision, and Zoeller says that is the proper process to determine the law’s validity.

Planned Parenthood is not currently receiving Medicaid funding, but through donations, the organization will continue seeing current patients through June 20th.

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