(Photo: Reuters / Joshua Roberts)
Planned Parenthood of Indiana claimed that the state’s defunding law would cause many women to lose essential health care services, but a newly released undercover video shows clinic employees admitting that women can receive the same services from plenty of other providers in the state.
Staffers at Planned Parenthood clinics across Indiana were caught admitting on the phone that they were not the only health care option for women on Medicaid. Live Action recorded the phone conversations and made them public on Wednesday.
Employees at the Merrillville office of Planned Parenthood directed women on Medicaid to a North Shore clinic. When the caller asked, “Is that a Planned Parenthood?” the staffer replied by saying, “No, but they have the same services we have.”
The video was released a week after U.S. Circuit Judge Tayna Walton Pratt blocked Indiana’s law barring federal tax dollars, in the form of Medicaid payments, from going to clinics that provide abortions. The law was signed into law in May by Gov. Mitch Daniels, making Indiana the first state to cut funding to abortion providers.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana filed suit, arguing that without the funds from the state, several clinics would shut down and thousands of Medicaid patients would be denied services.
Judge Pratt granted a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of the Indiana law, concluding that the legislation “will exact a devastating financial toll on PPIN (Planned Parenthood Indiana) and hinder its ability to continue serving patients’ general health needs.” Indiana is currently appealing the decision.
Yet, as the employees on the calls admitted, Medicaid patients do have options other than Planned Parenthood to receive the same care.
“Indiana has become Ground Zero in the national battle to defund Planned Parenthood, the biggest abortion business in America,” said Live Action President Lila Rose.
“As more and more states, most recently Wisconsin and Texas, continue to defund the abortion giant of millions of dollars, Planned Parenthood wants us to believe they are the only game in town when it comes to providing care of Medicaid patients. In reality, their own staff admit that they aren’t the only option for women in need.”
According to Planned Parenthood’s own statistics, their 28 clinics serve less than one percent of Medicaid patients and perform more than 50 percent of abortions in Indiana.
Medicaid is a health insurance program administered by the states for people who cannot afford some or all of their medical care. The majority of Medicaid funds are received from the federal government.
When calls were placed to Indiana Planned Parenthood clinics, those answering the phone instructed the callers that new patients on Medicaid were not being accepted.
“We are no longer a Medicaid provider,” was the response given by a Planned Parenthood staffer who answered one of the calls. “Um, right now we can’t see new Medicaid people, um just with the law that’s going on right now,” was the response of the Terre Haute, Indiana office.
Planned Parenthoods staffers at other clinics also directed those women on Medicaid back to their primary care physician.
“If Planned Parenthood only sees one percent of Medicaid patients in the state, and that’s their statistic, it doesn’t seem like they are making a big imprint in the first place,” said Dr. Geoff Cly of the Northeast Ob/GYN Women’s Health Group in Fort Wayne. “I know in our group, we currently have the capacity to see more patients and many other groups could easily take care of the one percent that’s left if Planned Parenthood no longer took care of those patients.”
According to Live Action, there are over 800 Medicaid providers in Indiana.
Indiana is not the only state dealing with Planned Parenthood legal issues.
Kansas recently passed legislation that allows federal dollars to be available to other providers. In response, Planned Parenthood has filed suit to stop the law from taking effect. Wisconsin and North Carolina have also passed similar bills.
“It all comes down to states having the right to dictate who their vendors are and how they spend their money,” said Rep. Eric Turner (R-Cicero), the prime sponsor of the Indiana bill.