Updated: Monday, 06 Jun 2011, 4:49 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 06 Jun 2011, 11:11 AM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The battle over taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood returned to a federal courtroom in downtown Indianapolis Monday.
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt presided over a 90 minute hearing and will act on Planned Parenthood's request for an injunction stopping Indiana's new abortion law in no less than 10 days and no later than July first.
The leaders of Planned Parenthood of Indiana feel they successfully made the case that, if taxpayer funding isn't restored by June 20th, their agency will endure permanent harm.
"Then the immediate impact is we shut down Medicaid patients and we look at closing health centers," said CEO Betty Cockrum, "and we named eight of them in the affidavit."
Attorneys for the state argued that Planned Parenthood could keep taxpayer money if it splits into two entities, one that performs abortions and one that doesn't. It has no such plans.
"To make Planned Parenthood, in essence, unincorporate and break into separate entities is a terrible burden," said Ken Falk of the ACLU, Planned Parenthood's lead attorney, "and that's what violates the constitution."
Outside the courthouse, the author of the abortion law defended his approach on the law, one that denies taxpayer money to any abortion provider.
"We're saying who we can or can't contract with," said state Sen. Scott Schneider, "no different than a paving contract or a highway job."
Pro-life activist, Sue Swayze of Indiana Right to Life, is worried that Indiana could lose 5 billion dollars in Medicaid funding if Planned Parenthood wins its case.
"In order to protect the Medicaid program as a whole, in addition to its interests, Planned Parenthood could cease providing abortions until we get this straightened out," said Swayze.
In the meantime, Planned Parenthood is already turning away new Medicaid patients and denying routine services to others. Federal Medicaid officials have already ruled that it's illegal to take the money away from Planned Parenthood but the state has 60 days to appeal that decision.
Judge Walton Pratt will weigh in before then.