Federal court bars anti-Planned-Parenthood law

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals granted an injunction against the Indiana law Tuesday, upholding a lower court's ruling. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund tied the Indiana law to Mitt Romney's pledge to cut off federal funding to Planned Parenthood clinics.

“What Governor Mitch Daniels tried to do in Indiana, Mitt Romney would do in all 50 states if he’s elected. It is unacceptable, especially at a time when women need more access to health care, for a politician to tell women that they cannot go to Planned Parenthood health centers to get birth control, well-woman exams, or cancer screenings," Planned Parenthood Action Fund Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said in a statement.

The 7th Circuit said Indiana could not bar Medicaid recipients from going to Planned Parenthood because the restriction denies patients the ability to choose their own providers, and Planned Parenthood is a qualified Medicaid provider.

The Susan B. Anthony List, which opposes abortion rights, said the court ignored the will of Indiana voters and argued that abortion is a major part of Planned Parenthood's mission.

“Over the last two years – as 14 states have introduced or enacted measures to end taxpayer funding of abortion businesses – America’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood has been able to rely only on sympathetic courts and the Obama Administration to buck the will of the taxpayers," SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which joined Planned Parenthood in challenging the new law, praised the court''s decision.

“The ACLU of Indiana commends the Court for its ruling, which will protect the liberties of thousands of Hoosiers. Lawmakers across the country are watching the resolution of this case," Indiana ACLU Executive Director Jane Henegar said in a statement.

Indiana was the first state to take this approach to defunding Planned Parenthood after congressional Republicans failed to cut off the organization's federal funding. Others have followed suit, and Texas is trying to revamp its leading healthcare program for women so that it can avoid Planned Parenthood.

— This post was updated at 3:10 p.m.