Entries in Indiana (44)


Obama Admin. Rejects Indiana’s Ban on Planned Parenthood Funding

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration Wednesday rejected Indiana’s proposal to ban the use of Medicaid funds at Planned Parenthood clinics.

In a letter to Patricia Casanova, director of the state Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning, Dr. Donald Berwick, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said that Indiana’s ban violated a provision of the law allowing that “beneficiaries may obtain covered services from any qualified provider that undertakes to provide such services.”

In May, GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a law banning Medicaid funds from going to "any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed."

Daniels said that “any organization affected by this provision can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions.”

Those who oppose abortion have long argued that even if federal funds don’t directly go to fund abortions in groups such as Planned Parenthood, allowing such clinics to receive funding for other services frees up private funds to be spent on abortions.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana says that 96 percent of its work is preventative, with only four percent abortion-related. Four out of the 28 Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana perform abortions. A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Indiana has said that 20 percent of its annual budget comes from federal funding.

Noting that “federal Medicaid funding of abortion services is not permitted under federal law except in extraordinary circumstances (such as in cases of rape or incest),” Berwick wrote that “Medicaid programs may not exclude qualified health care providers from providing services that are funded under the program because of a provider’s scope of practice.”

Between January 2010 and May 31, 2011, CMS had formally denied 19 state plan amendments, though not for the same reason. An Obama administration official says that CMS did not impose penalties in any of these matters, and the state ended up complying with the CMS ruling.

Officials from the Indiana Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning could not be reached for comment.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Judge Denies Request to Stop Planned Parenthood Defunding

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- A federal judge Wednesday denied Planned Parenthood's request to block the state of Indiana from defunding the organization.  Indiana would be the first U.S. state to cut all funding to Planned Parenthood.

Federal District Court Judge Tonya Walton Pratt denied the request, stating that Planned Parenthood could not support its claim that it would suffer devastating harm if the law took effect immediately.

Planned Parenthood filed a restraining order in Indianapolis Tuesday, just hours after Governor Mitch Daniels signed a new law banning abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy and cutting $3 million in state funds used for birth control and screening tests for STDs.

A hearing is set for June 6 to rule on a temporary injunction.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


One Injured in Indiana Middle School Shooting

David De Lossy/Thinkstock(MARTINSVILLE, Ind.) -- One person was seriously injured after a shooting at an Indiana middle school Friday, according to ABC affiliate WRTV.  

The incident occurred around 7 a.m. at Martinsville West Middleschool on Garfield Avenue. Two people have been detained, but police are still searching for at least one suspect.

The victim, who was shot twice in the stomach, was airlifted to a nearby hospital, WRTV reports.

Classes have been canceled and nearby schools have been placed on lockdown.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Restaurant Shakes Up Indiana Town with Billboard Campaign

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SOUTH BEND, Ind.) -- A northern Indiana restaurant is in hot water after displaying a controversial billboard campaign.

The South Bend-based restaurant said it did not intend for its billboards to be controversial, but rather, to be noticed. 

After numerous complaints, Hacienda took down billboards referring to the 1978 Jonestown cult massacre.  More than 900 people died when they drank punch laced with cyanide.

The Hacienda billboard featured the picture of a mixed drink that read, "We're like a cult with better Kool-Aid...To die for."

Hacienda executives have apologized for the campaign, saying the restaurant should not have used the billboards.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

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