Today, Congressman Marlin Stutzman (IN-03) led a bicameral effort to help defend Indiana's recent pro-life law, HEA1210. Stutzman wrote and circulated a letter in support of HEA1210 to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
On May 10, 2011, Governor Daniels signed HEA1210 into law, prohibiting state and federal funds from going to any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed' except for hospitals or ambulatory surgical centers. On May 12, 2011, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) submitted a Medicaid State Plan to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The federal agency will now review Indiana's plan.
Recent CMS comments have expressed displeasure with Indiana's law. Yesterday, a group of thirty U.S. Senators sent Secretary Sebelius a letter echoing that displeasure and urging the Secretary to take strong action to bring Indiana into "compliance.'
"The actions of the Governor and the state legislature are well within the letter and spirit of federal law," Stutzman said. "The facts are clear. Despite persistent claims by Planned Parenthood's operatives, Indiana's law does nothing to change a Medicaid recipient's benefits. It only changes where they can obtain those benefits. FSSA has already identified eight hundred provider locations for Medicaid recipients. Hoosiers who rely on Medicaid will still receive care."
"Indiana is able to pass laws consistent with the will of the Indiana people. I refuse to let any Administration to interfere with Indiana's ability to determine our own Medicaid plan," Stutzman declared. "Hoosiers led the way with a critical step forward. For years, the federal government's Hyde Amendment sought to prevent tax dollars from funding abortions. Sadly, for years, Planned Parenthood received money for other services. Let's be honest. Every tax dollar that Planned Parenthood receives frees a private dollar to provide abortions. I believe that Indiana's law effectively closes that loophole. Hoosiers are fighting the same fight back home and they're winning. I'm going to support them with all of resources at my disposal. This letter will let the Secretary know that the nation is watching."
Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin are considering proposals similar to Indiana's law.