Supreme Court Rejects Appeal Of Ruling Against Effort To Block Planned Parenthood Funding

The Supreme Court declined to accept an appeal of a case in which Indiana's effort to defund Planned Parenthood had been blocked by a Federal Court.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court declined to accept an appeal of a case in which Indiana’s effort to defund Planned Parenthood had been blocked by a Federal Court:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court refused Tuesday to allow Indiana to block Medicaid funding of Planned Parenthood clinics because they perform abortions.

Without comment, the high court let stand decisions by a federal judge in Indiana and the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago that prevented the measure from taking effect. The 2011 law would have banned Medicaid funds from going to an organization such as Planned Parenthood whose work includes performing abortions.

Judge Diane S. Sykes, writing for the 7th Circuit last year, said the state’s “defunding law excludes Planned Parenthood from Medicaid for a reason unrelated to its fitness to provide medical services, violating its patients’ statutory right to obtain medical care from the qualified provider of their choice.”

The Obama administration had joined the case on the side of Planned Parenthood and argued that the Medicaid law gives eligible low-income patients a right to obtain healthcare from any qualified provider. This is known as the free-choice-of-provider rule.

More than 9,300 Medicaid patients in Indiana go to Planned Parenthood clinics for routine medical exams, cancer screening and birth control, the lower court said. Medicaid does not pay for abortions because by law, Congress has forbid the spending of federal funds to pay for elective abortions. Indiana has a similar provision in state law.

Two years ago, Indiana lawmakers voted to go further and forbid the spending of any Medicaid money — federal or state — through “any entity” whose facilities perform abortions. Hospitals and state-licensed surgical clinics were exempted. Though the federal government pays most of the cost for providing healthcare under Medicaid, the money is funneled through a state agency. Had the state law stood, it would have stopped the federal money from flowing to clinics, and many of them would have been forced to close, Planned Parenthood officials said.

Similar laws in other states have suffered similar fates when challenged in Court, meaning that the conservative effort to “defund” Planned Parenthood as basically been a massive failure. Anyone who understood Medicaid regulations would have seen this coming a mile away.

FILED UNDER: Gender Issues, Law and the Courts, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. NBH says:

    Anyone who understood Medicaid regulations would have seen this coming a mile away.

    I’m sure plenty who voted for it knew it was practically guaranteed to be struck down. But they don’t care. It’s not about governing or passing valid laws, it’s about grandstanding and appeasing the GOP base of religious authoritarians.

  2. stonetools says:

    More context: The Indiana state legislature, with Republican majorities, passed the law defunding Planned Parenthood in 2011. The Democrats resisted as best they could, even leaving the state to avoid forming a quorum, but they could not stop passage. It was signed into law by Mitch Daniel, a Republican governor who had earlier called for a “truce on social issues”.

    Anyway, another Republican effort to screw over women defeated.

  3. Caj says:

    It’s about these Republican jerks stopped wasting time on repealing everything under the sun and do the work of the people by helping to create more jobs! The people are so tired of these nonsensical repeals, blocking, investigations and on and on and on! The best thing that could happen to our country is if the Republican Party disbanded. It’s become a laughing stock and the sad thing is they couldn’t give a damn!

  4. gVOR08 says:

    This effort hasn’t been a failure. They did the Kabuki and impressed their base. They demonstrated that libruls in Washington are determined to ignore the will of the people and kill babies. (You don’t really expect the IN Tea Party to be any more discerning than that, do you?) All around, many dollars and a few votes raised; and they even get to keep PP around as a whipping boy. Very successful. Probably do it again in a few months.

  5. al-Ameda says:

    If the Republican House can move to repeal “Obamacare” what, 37 times, then why can’t the Indiana state lawmakers just keep on being as intrepidly stupid as they want to be? Unfortunately, these social conservatives are not going away.