INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WLFI) - A federal judge has blocked part of an Indiana law that cuts off public funding for Planned Parenthood of Indiana.
Indiana Republican Governor Mitch Daniels told NewsChannel 18 earlier this week before the ruling was made, that whatever decision came out of it, he would respect it.
"We'll respect the decision of the court particularly because it has no practical effect, no one losing any service," said Daniels.
Late Friday evening, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt granted Planned Parenthood's request for an injunction, striking down the part of a controversial law that would take away the organization's funding it allowing to see Medicaid patients.
"We did finally run out of those wonderful donations that were covering our Medicaid patient services. So, on Tuesday, we stopped seeing them. And then, because we had to address the whole revenue shortfall entirely, we put our staff on furlough. Telling 160 people you have to take a day off without pay doesn't feel good," said Planned Parenthood of Indiana President and CEO Betty Cockrum at a news conference Friday evening.
Recently, the U.S. Justice Department filed a brief, siding with Planned Parenthood, saying the law would also restrict those on Medicaid the freedom to choose their health care provider. Daniels wasn't too concerned with the Justice Department's paperwork.
"Well, we're not impressed with letters from bureaucrats who have a clear agenda," said Daniels.
The law, signed by Governor Daniels, on May 10, cut off about $1.4 million dollars to Planned Parenthood. The state had argued that federal law forbids Medicaid to cover abortions in most circumstances and that the program indirectly funds the procedures.
"Our entire focus as the executive branch of government is to see that every Medicaid client receives every service they're entitled to," said Daniels.
Cockrum went on to say the decision will have immediate, positive consequences for Planned Parenthood patients.
Also Friday evening, a federal judge blocked parts of Indiana's new immigration law as well. U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker granted a request for an injunction blocking provisions of that law.
Several Muncie residents are asking the state Department of Education to force the city's school district to continue bus service for students despite the defeat of a proposed property tax increase to pay for its costs.
A large fire destroyed a southern Indiana restaurant, with flames soaring high through the roof as it burned overnight.
A 22-year-old Elkhart man has pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of the owner of a northern Indiana convenience store and an employee.