Pro-life ‘victory’ as Indiana law cuts all Planned Parenthood funding

Indianapolis, Ind., May 11, 2011 / 04:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed into law a bill that cuts Planned Parenthood state funding and adds other restrictions on abortion.

“It’s a great victory,” said Glenn Tebbe, executive director of the Indiana Catholic Conference. “This is an achievement we’ve been working towards for a number of years.”

He thought the law offers “a very good chance” to reduce the number of abortions in Indiana.

“That’s probably the most important aspect,” he said.

The law ends all state-directed funding for businesses that do abortions except for hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers, USA Today reports. It cuts $2 million of the $3 million the Indiana Planned Parenthood organization receives annually in government funds.

The law also makes Indiana the first state to prohibit the use of Medicaid at Planned Parenthood.

“It’s good that our tax dollars don’t have to support an agency that performs abortions,” Tebbe told CNA on May 11.

He credited the “persistence” of pro-life groups and the pro-life community over past years which allowed them to take advantage of the opportunity to pass the legislation.

Daniels was supportive of the legislation “from the beginning,” Tebbe reported.

“There wasn’t a need for him to play a leadership role because there were so many other people involved for a long period of time.”

Daniels, a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2012, attracted attention and some criticism because he called for a “truce” on social issues like abortion and marriage in favor of focusing on fiscal and economic issues.

Though Tebbe said he had no inside information, he thought the remark was “more a tactical matter than substantive” and was intended to address divisions within Daniels’ party.

The new Indiana law has its critics.

The state’s Family and Social Services Administration has voiced concern that the funding restrictions could violate Medicaid policy and endanger $4 million in federal money for family planning.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana President Betty Cockrum said the provision threatened basic health care for Indiana women and will lead to undetected cancers, untreated sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies.

Gov. Daniels said his administration confirmed that all non-abortion services will remain “readily available” in all 92 counties of Indiana. He has also ordered the Family and Social Services Administration to ensure that Medicaid recipients receive “prompt notice” of nearby care options.

Any clinic affected by the law can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by “ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions,” the governor said.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana sought a temporary restraining order against the bill. A federal judge refused to grant an emergency hold on May 11, but will take more time to consider whether the law should stand, the Indianapolis Star reports.

Indiana Right to Life characterized the new law’s provisions as “the most sweeping pro-life initiatives” in the state since the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.

“This legislation places Indiana on the vanguard of efforts to protect the unborn, to deny public funds to businesses that profit from abortion, and to ensure that women considering abortion have full and factual information about such issues as fetal development and alternatives to abortion,” said the group’s president and CEO Mike Fichter.

Many of these provisions have been on Indiana pro-lifers’ “to-do list,” Tebbe explained.

The new law opts Indiana out of abortion coverage in any state health insurance exchanges required under the 2010 federal health care law.

While the state previously restricted abortion based on the ambiguous standard of “viability,” the law now restricts abortions after 20 weeks into a pregnancy.

The law requires doctors who perform abortions to provide full information about abortion to women considering the procedure. These doctors must also maintain local hospital admitting privileges in order to streamline emergency access for any women injured during an abortion.

These features will provide more information to women considering abortion, Tebbe said, “and with that we think they are more likely to make the better choice.”

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Catholic Diocese in Indiana, Wants Komen Race Boycott Over Abortion Ties

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor


March 26, 2008 – Lafayette, Indiana (LifeNews.com) — Another Catholic diocese has gone on record as urging Catholics and local parishes to boycott the Komen Race for the Cure because of its ties to abortion. Komen affiliates across the nation have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Planned Parenthood and the group has denied the abortion-breast cancer link.
The Catholic Diocese of Lafayette wants local parishioners to boycott the April race in Indianapolis expected to draw 40,000 people.

The diocese includes 63 churches in 24 counties and a statement LifeNews.com obtained explains the rationale behind the decision. “Due to its policy allowing affiliates to offer financial support to abortion providing facilities, its endorsement of embryonic stem cell research, and the continued denial that abortion may well lead to the development of breast cancer, it is not appropriate for Catholics to participate,” the diocese said.A portion of their proceeds is given to Planned Parenthood for breast exam and to educate women in their clinics,” it added.

“Donors cannot control how an organization designates its funds. Therefore, money donated for a specific service, i.e. breast health care, directly frees up funds to support other areas of an organization’s agenda, i.e. abortion,” it concluded.

Rather than supporting Komen, the diocese asked Catholics to donate their time and money to local hospitals and other groups that provide beast cancer screenings and medical care.

Dana Curish, executive director of Komen Indianapolis, tried to assuage the concerns in an interview with WTHR-TV. “We do not fund Planned Parenthood and there’s no affiliate in Indiana that funds Planned Parenthood,” she said.However, Susan G. Komen for the Cure spokeswoman Rebecca Gibson has previously confirmed that 19 of the 122 Komen affiliates made grants to Planned Parenthood last year, according to its own figures totaling about $374,253.

Other Catholic diocesan groups have also issued concerns about Komen and its Planned Parenthood grants and abortion-breast cancer link denial.

Earlier this month, the St. Louis Archdiocese asked people to boycott the event. In November 2006, the Phoenix, Arizona diocese asked parishioners to tell Komen to stop giving money to Planned Parenthood.“Some will argue the grant is earmarked for areas other than abortion or contraception, so the affiliation between the organizations is inconsequential,” Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted said of the Komen grants to Planned Parenthood.

“But the sad reality is that the grant money now frees up Planned Parenthood funds for those other areas opposing life and counter to our Catholic faith,” he explained.

In the Phoenix area, Komen, whose race netted it 40,000 people and $1.8 million, gave $25,000 to Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern Arizona.

The Komen grants to Planned Parenthood prompted medical research analyst and Hispanic outreach director Eve Sanchez Silver to resign from her leadership position within Komen.Silver eventually had a meeting with Komen officials about their grants and abortion’s link with breast cancer.”SGK officials did not appear to have knowledge of simple breast facts,” Silver said in a statement LifeNews.com received.Silver explained that the breast is an organ that is not mature at birth and SGK officials appeared to be surprised to learn that the breast does not become fully mature until after 32 weeks of pregnancy.

As a result of that state of development, interruption of pregnancy via an abortion before 32 weeks leaves breast cells exposed to estrogen, which is highly carcinogenic.

She indicated the Komen representatives also appeared to be “more concerned about assisting women after they had contracted breast cancer, than informing them to avoid breast cancer risk by avoiding abortions and having [an] early, full term pregnancy.”

“This is an appalling lack of concern for the women the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is supposed to be helping,” Silver added.