Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels defunded Planned Parenthood of Indiana on Tuesday. As if this fail couldn't get any worse, speculation surrounds Daniels' intent as to why he signed the bill. And why did he? To quell über conservatives ruffled by Daniels' laissez-faire stance on social issues such as reproductive health. You see, this 49th Govern, er… Faux-ernor of the State of Indiana said he could win the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. No formal statement has been made by Daniels himself but his douche-y actions speak loud and clear. And, loose lips are talking. House Speaker John Boehner—not boner, bay-ner, Ohio Republican Rep.—told Matt Lauer on Tuesday's NBC TODAY show:
[Mitch Daniels] has got a real track record of reform in [Indiana] the kind of reforms we need to have in Washington, D.C.
Not good, my friends. Not good.
The only thing stopping Daniels from announcing a run for presidency is his family. Stop… Hold up… Tag Team! His family? Yes. His family. And he just cut 22,000 people off from family-planning and health services in Indiana? Yes. 22,000 low-income people, according to Betty Cockrum on NPR, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN).
On NBC Indianapolis, Faux-ernor had this to say about what's holding him back:
It's no secret that family comes first with me and that's a consideration [for presidency]. This is not a mountain you jump off by yourself, you take others with you and that matters to me.
OMG! Daniels is a Douche and a selfish SOB. [politely refrain from taking SOB to heart—it's Daniels we're discussing, not semantics—thanks!] That's a gubernatorial-cum-douchernatorial move—two times! Once for cutting funding to PPIN, the state's largest reproductive health care provider with 28 locations. Twice for not giving a lizard-lickin' care about the nearly 6.5 million people (and their families) living in Indiana—thousands who rely on PPIN and the many more who might in the future Phooey!
There has been a recent rise in anti-abortion restrictions in the U.S. In South Dakota, people who request an abortion must wait three days before the procedure. In Texas, an ultrasound and verbal description of the fetus are now part of abortion protocol. However, Daniels' douche-y dis is the first of its kind to eliminate all funding to PPIN. And how much is that? An estimated $1.4 million according Kate Shepard, PPIN spokesperson.
HEA 1210 is about abortion. And yet, according to a 2010 Planned Parenthood Federation of America Fact Sheet, Planned Parenthood abortion services accounted for only 3% of the organization's total patient care in 2008. Most people who went to Planned Parenthood that year needed contraception (35% of total services) or STD & STI testing / treatment (34%).
I'll even break it down for ya'll a little further. Planned Parenthood of Indiana served 85,030 patients in 2010. Even though that's only 1.3% of Indiana's total population—6,483,802 Census 2010—PPIN offered 244,483 services—that's close to 4% of Indiana's population who went to Planned Parenthood. 4% seems insignificant, right?
Okay, well brace yourself for PPIN's numbers on abortion for 2010. PPIN performed 5,580 abortions or .08% of the total population, which is less than one-tenth of one-percent. Really, really insignificant. Pap tests, breast exams, and STD/HIV tests accounted for 96,091 of all PPIN services—that's 1.5% of the total number of Hoosiers who sought these services in 2010. I guess Daniels didn't bother doing his math homework? It's as easy as searching for PPIN 2010 Annual Report on the Internet. And he's considering running for president?
The new bill stripping funds from PPIN is but one of 80 other legislative acts the Faux-ernor signed into law on Tuesday. Other hot measures include immigration reform, corporate income tax, and gun possession. There's no need to go into detail on what the Faux-ernor signed off on… just use your imagination.
Get this though, Daniels did ban texting while driving and commended the state on its new automatic taxpayer refund. So... [I'm just trying to work this one out] Daniels wants Hoosiers to practice safe driving and have the extra cash to pay the $500 citation if they get caught texting, but not practice responsible reproductive activity? Nor be able to afford services to prevent unwanted pregnancies and STDs / STIs? Doh! Douchebag.
Faux-ernor Daniels claimed there are other options available for the women and men in need of low-income health care, such as rural health clinics and community health centers throughout Indiana… Uh, since when is Planned Parenthood not considered a clinic + health center? Oh, yeah! Since the Faux-ernor said so. I call bullshit! Planned Parenthood is the only organization being targeted in this bill.
PPIN was quick to respond. With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana, the 90-year-old organization declared the bill unconstitutional. The ACLU went to court on behalf of PPIN Tuesday to stop it. And, while I was writing this decree Wednesday afternoon, I learned that U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt rejected PPIN's request to temporarily stop the bill only a few hours earlier. According Judge Pratt, defunding takes effect immediately. Sigh! This one really hurts.
Here's what PPIN and the ACLU of Indiana had to say in response to the new law and Pratt's ruling:
The ACLU of Indiana believes HEA 1210 deprives Medicaid patients of their preferred health care provider—a clear violation of federal law. It also denies PPIN contracts and grants involving federal money solely because it provides a constitutionally-protected procedure. Finally, it would force PPIN's health care professionals to make statements to patients that are not medically and scientifically based—further violating the U.S. Constitution.
You can read the rest on PPINs website. An injuction hearing is set for early June. In the meantime, ditch the Mitch. He's a Hooiser Loser.
Help fight against state-level attacks on Planned Parenthood by visiting the Planned Parenthood Action Center.