Thursday, May 12, 2011

Indiana Planned Parenthood funding cut off for now

Judge Tanya Walton Pratt refused Planned Parenthood's request to stay the enforcement of Indiana new law to defund abortion providers.
"While the underlying issues of this case will be argued at a later date, today's ruling allows the statute the Indiana Legislature passed to remain in effect," state Attorney General Greg Zoeller said.

"The legislation has generated strong emotions on all sides, and my office will provide a vigorous legal defense for the statute," he said. It is the attorney general's duty to defend in court the constitutionality of any Indiana statute, Zoeller said.

In a four-page order denying the bid for a temporary order, Walton Pratt said she wasn't persuaded that the new law "will have a concrete and immediate effect that would warrant the extraordinary remedy" of enjoining it before the state has a chance to fully contest the issues raised by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.

This case is far from over.
Ken Falk, legal director for the ACLU of Indiana, which appeared in court on behalf of Planned Parenthood, conceded that getting a temporary restraining order is rare.

A temporary restraining order usually means the defense doesn't get to fully argue or brief the case, so the burden is high.

Pratt set a June 6 preliminary injunction hearing, which could still halt the law from taking effect.

She expects to make a decision by July 1.

Pratt – an Obama appointee – cautioned lawyers and reporters Wednesday that her initial ruling is not a signal of how she would decide the merits of the case.

Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana are already turning Medicaid patients away and telling them to find another provider. Strange since Planned Parenthood is always acting like they're the only ones who can provide reproductive health services.

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