Planned Politics

The runaway freight train of conservative politics that has taken up the effort to defund Planned Parenthood hit its first speed bump yesterday when U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt (the first African-American federal judge in Indiana history) preliminarily enjoined enforcement of Indiana’s recently-passed defunding law.  Planned Parenthood sought the injunction pending resolution of its federal lawsuit filed yesterday in Kansas (naming ultra-conservative Indiana Governor Sam Brownback and Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Robert Moser as defendants).  In the suit, Planned Parenthood argues what appears to be the obvious — that defunding laws like those passed in Kansas, Indiana, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, which deny government funding to Planned Parenthood because the organization offers the constitutionally-protected abortion option to women, even though such funds are not and cannot be used for abortions —  are unconstitutional and violate the Supremacy Clause and the First and Fourteenth Amendment.

In making what I consider to be a pretty ballsy (an adjective so wrong for a women lawyers’ blog, but so right for what I’m trying to say) move to grant Planned Parenthood’s injunction, Judge Pratt, who was only sworn in a year ago, relied in no small part on a June 1, 2011 letter issued by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services finding the Indiana law violative of federal Medicaid rules in that it deprives women of the right to choose the medical provider of their choice — jeopardizing $4 million in federal funding that state receives for Medicaid patients each year.  Judge Pratt stated:

Denying the injunction could pit the federal government against the State of Indiana in a high-stakes political impasse.  And if dogma trumps pragmatism and neither side budges, Indiana’s most vulnerable citizens could end up paying the price as the collateral damage of a partisan battle. With this backdrop in mind . . . the Court believes the most prudent course of action is to enjoin the defunding provision while the judicial process runs its course.

Hooray Judge Pratt!  After the recent string of victories that anti-choice activists have achieved in their battle to set women’s reproductive rights back 40 years, it is gratifying to hear a federal judge’s voice of reason — the voice of a woman no less — calling a political spade a spade.  The defunding movement, despite being gussied up as a budgetary necessity, has nothing whatsoever to do with fiscal responsibility and everything to do with a far right political cause which threatens the ability of women in this country to obtain non-abortion health care services.  I hope we hear more such reasonable voices, especially those of women, as political conservatives seek to ride the defunding and anti-abortion crusade all the way to the White House in 2012.

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    June 28, 2011 · admin · One Comment ·  Tags: ,  · Posted in: bargirls in the news, girlpower, make a decision

    one Response

    1. Mike - 07 Wed 2011

      you should sumbit some of these articles to some magazines… they are fantastic.

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