Judge Refuses To Delay Law Cutting Funding For Indiana Planned Parenthood

May 11, 2011

A federal judge today ruled that Indiana can go ahead and enforce a law that cuts off funding for Planned Parenthood of Indiana. The Idianapolis Star reports:

Planned Parenthood challenged the constitutionality of the law and filed a restraining order in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis Tuesday — hours after Gov. Mitch Daniels signed it.

Judge Tanya Walton Pratt will take more time to consider whether the law itself should stand. But typically a judge's reluctance to even temporarily put a law on hold does not bode well for the plaintiff, in this case Planned Parenthood.

The law, which Daniels signed yesterday, bans abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy and also cuts off about $3 million in public funds used for services like birth control and tests for sexually transmitted diseases. The New York Times reports that Indiana became the first state to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood, which had become a national issue earlier this year, during the budget negotiations between the White House and the Republican leadership.

The AP adds a bit on the politics of the issue:

The law could improve Daniels' standing among social conservatives as he considers standing for president in 2012. Advocates tout Indiana as the one of the most "pro-life states inthe nation" and have praised Daniels for signing the law.

The measure wasn't part of Daniels' legislative agenda and he didn't advocate publicly for it. But he said he supported the abortion restrictions all along and that the move to defund Planned Parenthood hadn't changed his mind.

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