Planned Parenthood Donations Run Out, Cuts Possible
The donations that have made Planned Parenthood of Indiana's services available to Medicaid patients will dry up today.The donations began pouring into the organization's offices in early May, after Governor Mitch Daniels signed a law stripping Planned Parenthood of public funding. The money provided most services for the organization's 9,300 Medicaid patients.President Betty Cockrum says the flow of donations diminished quickly and will not last any longer.Planned Parenthood is challenging the law in court. The U.S. Justice Department has sided with the group, saying the state cannot limit Medicaid patients' options for care and threatening that Indiana could lose all of its Medicaid funding if the law stands. Given that, Cockrum says she's hoping the case will be decided sometime today ."There is certainly sufficient argument for a decision but I think it's also such a critically important and long-term and far-reaching decision, there's every chance it will be after Monday," she says.Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says his office is dedicated to defending the statute.Unless a ruling is made before the donations run out, Planned Parenthood will have to consider making cuts, including limiting all services or furloughing employees."We also have to be mindful not to do anything that's too drastic because it's a very short window. Assuming, again, that there is a ruling no later than June 30th," says Cockrum.Elsewhere, organizations facing public funding cuts have essentially split into one branch that handles women's health and another that handles abortions, but receives no public money. Planned Parenthood of Indiana president Betty Cockrum rejects that proposal."There's a very legitimate concern about the shelf life of any kind of restructuring. Just looking at language that was introduced in the Minnesota legislature this year that would have stripped funds from any organization that even made a referral for an abortion," she says.