Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed into law May 10 expansive pro-life legislation that includes a ban on state-directed funding of abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.
In doing so, the Republican governor made Indiana reportedly the first state to enact such a prohibition on money for organizations that perform or promote abortion. The law exempts hospitals and outpatient surgery centers. The measure will eliminate about $2 million of the $3 million in federal funds Planned Parenthood of Indiana receives each year, according to The Indianapolis Star.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana filed a lawsuit hours after Daniels signed the legislation, but federal judge Tanya Walton Pratt denied the organization’s request that she block enforcement of the new law, The Star reported. The measure will remain in effect while Pratt—nominated by President Obama—considers its constitutionality.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates—which make up America’s leading abortion provider at more than 332,000 of the procedures in 2009—have seen their reputation damaged repeatedly in recent years. Undercover investigations in several states have revealed Planned Parenthood employees demonstrating a willingness to aid self-professed sex traffickers whose prostitutes are in their early teens, seeking to cover up alleged child sexual abuse, and agreeing to receive donations designated for abortions of African-American babies.
Indiana Right to Life reported the new law also: 1) authorizes the state to bar abortions at 20 weeks gestation based on evidence unborn babies are capable of feeling pain at that point, 2) empowers Indiana to opt out of abortion coverage in health exchanges called for by last year’s health-care reform law, 3) mandates written information on abortion be given to women considering the procedure, and 4) requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.
Daniels “has now established Indiana as one of the leading pro-life states in the nation,” Indiana Right to Life President Mike Fichter said in a written statement. “This legislation places Indiana on the vanguard of efforts to protect the unborn, to deny public funds to businesses that profit from abortion, and to ensure that women considering abortion have full and factual information about such issues as fetal development and alternatives to abortion.”