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Entombing the Lede



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Look at where the word abortion finally creeps into this AP story (h/t Mark Hemingway’s Twitter feed):

INDIANAPOLIS – Thousands of low-income Planned Parenthood of Indiana patients were left fending for themselves Tuesday to pay for birth control, breast exams, Pap tests and other medical services while a court battle continued over a new state law that eliminated the organization’s Medicaid funding.

Planned Parenthood began turning away Medicaid patients who couldn’t pay for its medical services Tuesday, one day after private donations that had paid those patients’ bills ran out.

A state law that took effect May 10 denied Planned Parenthood the Medicaid funds it uses to pay for general health services it provides to low-income women at its 28 Indiana clinics. The group is seeking a preliminary injunction to block Indiana’s law, and a ruling is expected by July 1.

As Planned Parenthood awaits that ruling, the group said about 9,300 Medicaid patients — both women and men enrolled in the state-federal health insurance program for low-income and disabled people — are now facing “disrupted” medical services under the state’s law.

Nicole Robbins, a 31-year-old single mother who has been a Planned Parenthood client for six years, said she had intended to visit a Planned Parenthood clinic in Indianapolis on Tuesday to pick up a 2-month supply of birth control pills. Then, the Medicaid recipient learned that the more than $100,000 in private donations the group had raised since May 10 had dried up.

The Ivy Tech Community College student from Indianapolis who is pursuing a physical therapy degree said she’s not sure how she’ll pay for her birth control.

“There are a lot of people who don’t have jobs, who don’t have income, and Medicaid is their only source of income as far as health insurance,” she said. “I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place.”

The Medicaid de-funding measure took effect the same day that Gov. Mitch Daniels signed the law. But other provision of the law that gives the state some of the nation’s tightest restrictions on abortions won’t take effect until July 1.



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