Judge Hands Down Planned Parenthood Ruling

Ruling: Indiana Must Restore Funding To PPIN

A judge handed down a ruling for Planned Parenthood of Indiana on Friday that could impact thousands of Medicaid patients.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled that Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood should be restored but that the organization shouldn't receive monetary damages for the previous denial of funds.

The state cut the program's funding because the organization provides abortions and because the funding provided to PPIN was being used indirectly to pay staff that performs those services, officials said.

Betty Cockrum, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, said she was pleased with the outcome, 6News' Rick Hightower reported.

"We're thrilled with the judge's ruling," Cockrum said. "It was a great thing (on Friday) to get to send an email to all the staff across the state that come (Saturday) morning when we open our doors, we'll be seeing Medicaid patients."

Medicaid patients don't have unlimited rights to choose medical providers, the state of Indiana said Friday in defending its decision to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood.

The organization and the federal government said the state's action limited Medicaid recipients' health care options, but the state insisted it is just enforcing federal rules that restrict funding for the procedure.

The state's arguments came in response to a June 16 U.S. Justice Department brief siding with Planned Parenthood in its request for a court order blocking as unconstitutional a tough new Indiana abortion law that disqualifies Planned Parenthood of Indiana from the Medicaid program.

The state is expected to challenge the judge's decision.

"Just like any attorney, I've got a client to represent and I have an entire office I'll lend to this effort," said Attorney General Greg Zoeller.