Indiana Defunds Planned Parenthood, Gov. Mitch Daniels Eyes the Presidency?

In what might very well be an alarming precedent, Indiana has become the first state in the nation to successfully manage (at least temporarily) to defund Planned Parenthood. The new legislation put forth last Tuesday by Gov. Mitch Daniels (Republican, unsurprisingly) would cut off all Medicaid funding for the lately much maligned organization, while also requiring doctors to state to those patients seeking abortions that life begins at conception and that a fetus can feel pain around 20 weeks (neither of which, it should be noted, are considered to be fact). Performing any abortions after 20 weeks would now be illegal.

All said, Planned Parenthood of Indiana would stand to lose about $1.5 million in funding, and the potential closure of nearly half the state’s 28 clinics, while also jeopardizing the care of at least 9,300 Medicaid patients—some of the state’s poorest and neediest. They’d also amass the nation’s most extreme and tyrannical rules on abortion in the process—rules that the ACLU and Planned Parenthood are calling out as misleading and irrelevant. (Senator Kyl, anyone?)

Planned Parenthood immediately filed a restraining order with the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis challenging the constitutionality of such a law. According to the Indianapolis Star, the suit argues that “the law imposes an unconstitutional condition on Planned Parenthood by requiring it to choose between performing abortions and receiving non-abortion-related funding, and says that the measure runs afoul of federal Medicaid law.”

However, the judge refused to consider the hold (a move that doesn’t bode well for Planned Parenthood) though she insists her decision bears no influence on her ultimate, later ruling on whether or not the law will stand.

The next step for Gov. Mitch Daniels? Likely a presidential nomination.

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Michelle Koufopoulos is a writer, editor, book lover and tea enthusiast. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and spent a year studying at Oxford University, being indoctrinated into British cult ...read more

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