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Daniels To Sign Abortion Bill

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels says he will sign into law a controversial bill that cuts government funding to Planned Parenthood and places more restrictions on women who seek abortions.The measure won final legislative passage this week, but Daniels said he wanted to research the matter before signing it into law. In a statement today, Daniels says Medicaid recipients and others will still have access to non-abortion services in all 92 Indiana counties. He says any agency affected by the provision can immediately resume receiving government funds by ceasing to perform abortions.Opponents of the bill say cutting off government funding to Planned Parenthood would deprive many women access to other reproductive health services such as cancer screenings.Planned Parenthood had threatened to challenge the law in court if Daniels signs it. Many pro-choice groups in states with similar laws have refrained from challenging them out of concern that courts will overturn favorable precedent.The head of Planned Parenthood of Indiana previously told WFPL that would not stop the organization from taking the law to court.Here is Daniels' statement:“I will sign HEA 1210 when it reaches my desk a week or so from now. I supported this bill from the outset, and the recent addition of language guarding against the spending of tax dollars to support abortions creates no reason to alter my position. The principle involved commands the support of an overwhelming majority of Hoosiers, as reflected in greater than 2:1 bipartisan votes in both legislative chambers.“I commissioned a careful review of access to services across the state and can confirm that all non-abortion services, whether family planning or basic women’s health, will remain readily available in every one of our 92 counties. In addition, I have ordered the Family and Social Services Administration to see that Medicaid recipients receive prompt notice of nearby care options. We will take any actions necessary to ensure that vital medical care is, if anything, more widely available than before.“Any organization affected by this provision can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions.”More about the impact of HEA 1210 in Indiana:· This law will affect 7 entities in Indiana which have a total of 34 locations in 21 counties throughout the state.· In the 21 counties where these 7 entities currently operate, there are approximately 800 Medicaid providers which are eligible to provide Medicaid clients with health and family planning services.CountyMedicaid ProvidersALLEN63BARTHOLOMEW10DELAWARE23ELKHART37FLOYD7HENDRICKS25JACKSON5JEFFERSON6KOSCIUSKO29LAKE118LAPORTE17LAWRENCE14MARION192MONROE21PORTER22ST. JOSEPH71SCOTT11TIPPECANOE26VANDERBURGH38VIGO54WAYNE11Total800

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.