The Associated Press April 22, 2011, 2:41PM ET

Anti-Planned Parenthood law could cost Ind. $4M

Stripping Planned Parenthood of Indiana of all Medicaid funding could cost the state all of its $4 million in federal family planning money, the state's human services chief said.

Federal law prohibits states from choosing which providers can offer family planning services to Medicaid patients, and violations can cost states all of their family planning funding from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, The Indianapolis Star reported Friday.

The Indiana Senate voted Tuesday to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood as part of an anti-abortion bill. If it becomes law, Indiana would become the first state to prohibit Medicaid recipients from seeking care at Planned Parenthood.

"If funding is cut off, CMS could look at that, and that could jeopardize the other funding that we get from them around family planning services," Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Michael Gargano said Thursday. "That's our concern -- that they would cut those funds off."

Gov. Mitch Daniels has not said whether he will sign. Gargano said his agency has not taken a position on the bill.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana receives about $3 million in public funds annually to pay for services such as birth control, cancer screenings and tests for sexually transmitted diseases. That includes federal grant money that supports about 12,500 low-income patients at eight Planned Parenthood centers in Northwest and Southern Indiana. It also pays for about 9,300 statewide patients on Medicaid to receive services from Planned Parenthood.

Cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood had been a goal of some social conservatives in the Indiana House and Senate. One abortion opponent, Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, has said he hopes to make Indiana one of the most "pro-life" states in the nation.

A separate House measure to cut off funds to Planned Parenthood died because it failed to pass a procedural deadline due to the Democrats' walkout.

It was not until HB 1210 neared passage, Gargano said, that both FSSA analysts and some lawmakers raised concerns about the possibility of losing family planning funding.

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said there might be "some constitutional issues" about the measure to defund Planned Parenthood, but he didn't elaborate. He said it is too early to tell whether the House will agree to that Planned Parenthood provisions, which were inserted in the Senate.

"If it does not weigh down the other provisions of House Bill 1210, I'm OK with it," he said "If it does weigh them down, then we'll have to take a hard look at it."

Planned Parenthood officials have said if the Planned Parenthood language in the bill becomes law, they will try to block it in the courts.

A national measure to defund Planned Parenthood pushed by U.S. Rep Mike Pence, R-Ind., died in the U.S. Senate.

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com


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