Statement issued Wednesday:
(Indianapolis) – Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) is asking Governor Mitch Daniels to veto one of the worst pieces of public health legislation in Indiana’s history. HB 1210 not only would require doctors to lie to women before an abortion, but it could also cost the State of Indiana millions of dollars.
In recent days, there has been substantial outcry against this bill. More than 140,000 letters were sent to state legislators and calls flooded the governor’s office for days as Planned Parenthood supporters spoke out against the pending legislation.
“Hoosiers are angry and they are making themselves heard” said President and CEO Betty Cockrum. “They do not like what is happening at the Statehouse and they are standing with Planned Parenthood. Now it is up to the Governor and we hope, against all odds, he will do the right thing and veto this very bad bill.”
Numerous reports have made it clear that not only would a provision prohibit PPIN from receiving federal funds, it could also cost the state about $4 million in Medicaid federal family planning funds. Federal law prohibits states from picking and choosing which providers may offer family planning services to Medicaid patients. Violating that law could jeopardize federal money for other family planning providers.
“It’s abundantly clear that lawmakers didn’t fully understand the implications of the bill when they sent it to the governor,” said PPIN President and CEO Betty Cockrum. “I’m hoping the governor will take a look at the immediate impact to patients and the long-term fiscal and societal consequences for the State of Indiana. Countless patients will find themselves without lifesaving tests to avoid tragic outcomes of cervical and breast cancer and epidemic sexually transmitted disease here in Indiana if this bill becomes law. Let’s hope calmer heads prevail.
“If this bill becomes law, it will lead to another big expense for the State – that of fighting a costly lawsuit. The governor has a keen fiscal mind. As a former State Budget Director, I urge him to take a look at the dollars and cents. Cutting off access to birth control to Indiana’s most vulnerable will mean more unintended pregnancies, more Medicaid-covered births (already more than 50%), and more abortions.
PPIN hopes that Governor Daniels remembers that voters asked for smaller government in November. This bill makes government bigger and introduces profound intrusion into our doctors’ offices. The bill includes the requirement that women be given medically-inaccurate information prior to an abortion and has provisions that could put a women’s health in serious jeopardy if she was facing a complication with her pregnancy. PPIN urges Governor Daniels to give careful thought to the enduring and damaging consequences of this alarming direction in public health policy. Signing HB 1210 into law will put basic preventive health care and birth control access at risk.