Planned Parenthood of Indiana and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana today announced that the United States Supreme Court has left standing a decision that preserves the right of women and men in the Medicaid program to access preventive health care services at Planned Parenthood health centers.
The case will now proceed in U.S. District Court, which previously invalidated efforts by the state of Indiana to prevent Medicaid enrollees from accessing health care at Planned Parenthood.
PPIN, represented by attorneys with the ACLU of Indiana and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, filed suit to protect health care access for the Hoosiers who utilize preventive health services, including lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, well-woman exams and STD prevention and treatment, at its health centers across Indiana. Planned Parenthood has successfully argued before both a federal district court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals that a 2011 Indiana state law (HEA 1210) should be blocked because it likely conflicts with the federal Medicaid statute, which protects patients’ rights to make their own decisions about healthcare providers.
“This has been a long fight, but one that has been worthwhile because we’ve been fighting on behalf of our patients and their access to lifesaving, preventive care such as Pap tests, breast and testicular exams, birth control and STD testing and treatment,” said Betty Cockrum, PPIN’s president and CEO. “While the state has been trying to score political points and wasting taxpayer dollars, we’ve been standing up for the Hoosiers who count on us every day. We look forward to the day the preliminary injunction in this case becomes permanent.”
As the lawyer for state government, Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s Office vigorously defends state statutes the Legislature passes, such as HEA 1210, from legal challenges plaintiffs file. Zoeller today issued this statement concerning the U.S. Supreme Court declining to hear the case, Secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana, No. 12-1039 (U.S.):
“My office always contended this is ultimately a dispute between the state and federal government, not between a private medical provider and the state. We defended the legal authority of the people’s elected representatives in the Indiana Legislature to make a public policy decision to ensure that tax dollars not indirectly subsidize abortion services by funding the payroll and overhead expenses of abortion providers who also offer Medicaid-covered services. We respect the federal courts’ rulings in this matter and will confer with our state agency clients regarding any remaining legal avenues, including the separate administrative appeal of the state’s Medicaid plan,” Zoeller said.