Social conservatives still haven't forgiven Indiana governor Mitch Daniels for saying there should be a "truce" on issues like abortion while politicians focus on the economy. Now the potential presidential candidate has to decide what to do if the state legislature sends him a bill denying Medicaid money to Planned Parenthood.
During the showdown in the U.S. Congress over defunding Planned Parenthood, a "compromise" was floated that would involve block grants to governors on how to spend family planning money, meaning conservative governors would deny it to Planned Parenthood because the organization also provides abortions as three percent of its services. That didn't go anywhere, but legislators in Indiana and Kansas are both trying to effectively do it anyway.
Not only will low-income women in Indiana will have to look elsewhere for gynecological and sexual health care, the posturing will cost the state federal money to which it's currently entitled. According to the Washington Post,
Because federal law blocks states from choosing which organizations can provide family planning services to Medicaid patients, the measure could cost the state all federal funding for family planning. Planned Parenthood is prepared to sue if the proposal is signed into law. They also estimate that the move would cost the state $68 million in Medicaid expenses for unintended pregnancies by reducing birth control access.
By the way, the same Indiana bill, which recently passed the Senate, "requires doctors to tell women seeking abortions that the procedure is linked to infertility," which has no basis in scientific fact, and replaces the current time limit of doctor-determined viability with a 20-week limit.
Indiana anti-choicers are trying to make this about abortion, although currently Indiana's state Medicaid only covers abortion if there is a serious health-related reason. What about the cervical cancer screenings, STI testing, and contraceptive services offered by Planned Parenthood? The legislative director of Indiana Right To Life has a solution for you ladies, and this time it's not Walgreens:
"You can buy some types of contraceptive devices at Walmart," she told the Indianapolis Star recently. Pro-business!
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels's Truce Put To The Test [WP]
Indiana Senate OKs Abortion Limits [Indianapolis Star]