Medicaid Patients Win Right to Receive Services at Planned Parenthood Clinics

Affiliate: ACLU of Indiana
July 30, 2013 12:00 am

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INDIANAPOLIS – After a two-year court battle with the State of Indiana, today the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana prevailed in its lawsuit on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky to allow thousands of Indiana Medicaid patients to choose PPINK clinics for their health care needs.

In her ruling today, federal Judge Tanya Walton Pratt made permanent a June 2011 preliminary injunction that halted lawmakers from preventing Medicaid recipients from accessing health care services at Planned Parenthood clinics. Judge Pratt’s order follows an agreement between the State and PPINK that stipulates that the State cannot violate Medicaid’s “freedom of choice” provision.

Ken Falk, legal director for the ACLU of Indiana, applauded the decision: “We are extremely happy that the federal law protecting the rights of patients to choose their health care providers has been upheld so that thousands of Hoosiers can continue to receive necessary medical care.”

“This decision recognizes the rights and liberties of health care providers and the women they serve,” said ACLU of Indiana Executive Director Jane Henegar. “We hope lawmakers will now see where federal law and the Constitution draw the line to protect individuals against government intrusion.”

In May, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the State’s request to review an Oct. 2012 decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upholding a federal court preliminary injunction against defunding PPINK clinics. The ACLU of Indiana, ACLU, PPINK and Planned Parenthood Federation of America initially challenged the law, HEA 1210, in 2011.

“This is a long-awaited victory,” said Betty Cockrum, PPINK’s president and CEO. “We are incredibly grateful for the work of the ACLU of Indiana and PPFA in ensuring that our patients’ access to lifesaving, preventive care such as Pap tests, breast and testicular exams, birth control and STD testing and treatment is now protected.”

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