Playing "chicken" over abortion in Indiana

That’s one way of describing what is now happening in Indiana.


A looming showdown over Indiana’s new law that cuts funding for the Planned Parenthood organization may test how far Republican-led states are willing to go in pressing their tough new anti-abortion agendas.

The stakes are high. The future of health care for more than 1 million poor and elderly Indiana residents hangs in the balance.

Indiana became the first state this year to cut off all government funds to Planned Parenthood, fulfilling conservatives’ goal of financially weakening organizations that provide abortions. Other conservative states have considered such action in recent years but backed away under the threat of loss of all federal money for their Medicaid programs.

The willingness of Indiana, led by a Republican governor and GOP-controlled Legislature, to challenge the federal government and risk a huge financial penalty could take the issue into uncharted legal and political territory. Conservative leaders in other states will be watching the confrontation as they plan their own action on abortion and other social issues.

“I think this is an instance in which a state is really trying to overturn national policy and in so doing is likely to forego federal funding,” said Christopher Arterton, professor of political management at George Washington University and an expert on federal-state issues.

Is Indiana willing to risk $4.3 billion in Medicaid money to strike a blow for the right-to-life movement? Some conservative members of Republican-controlled legislatures argue it’s time for states to risk serious penalties to defend their principles and throw off federal mandates. And the Medicaid program, with its rising costs and strict rules, has been a particular target of ire.

Is the Obama administration actually willing to leave low-income families without health care to punish a defiant state?

“Like any game of chicken, it’s about who blinks first,” said Ed Haislmaier, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Health Policy, a conservative think-tank.

Read the rest.


  1. Love that pro-life prez!

    Waiting for the Commonweal Crowd to chime in…


    (That will happen when they comment on the latest ND Board of Directors flap – I’m sure.)

  2. pagansister says:

    They think that this will stop abortions? For those that can afford it there will be another state they can go to. For those that can’t? Some might be able to afford a doctor not associated with PP, or they will have the child. maybe put it up for adoption, perform one on herself or just apply for more state funded welfare to pay to feed the child. There just may be more kids on the welfare roles now in the state. Do they have enough to cover the new mouths to feed? I think it would be simpler to continue to provide help for PP so they can continue to help prevent pregnancies to begin with–as a source for birth control education —condoms, the pill, and yes, that old stand by—just don’t have sex. PP also provides other medical care for women, not just abortions! Hope the Federal gov’t denies them a bunch of money. Maybe Indiana doesn’t need money at all. They have plenty, I’m sure. :o)

  3. Pagansister is right-on-the-money.

    There have always been abortions. There will always be abortions.

    Approving of them or not approving of them will not change this fact.

    We have the means to lessen the need for them through PP.

    Prior to Roe v Wade I had an opportunity to see a second floor walk-up back-alley abortion place in a major city run by a “doctor” with dirty finger nails and a stained lab coat. It would be sinful (and quite likely deadly) to return to such circumstances.

  4. While I don’t understand all the complexities and implications of Indiana’s decision impact on the poor, I understand even less the comments above which seem completely uninterested in the Church’s moral position on abortion. Recently in Philadelphia, we saw in the case of abortion ‘doctor’, Kermit Gosnell, that filthy abortions/murder of full term babies continues to take place regardless of the availability of ‘cleaner’ facilities’. So, the oft cited ‘back alley’ nightmare scenario was borne out, anyway. And regardless of whether there will ‘always be abortions,’ the Church’s job will continue to be to uphold moral truths. Taxpaying Catholics everywhere should continue to work against the federal government’s strong arm tactics which would use their tax dollars to pay for intrinsic moral evil.

  5. Frank said, “It would be sinful (and quite likely deadly) to return to such circumstances.”

    I forgot how morally correct and non-lethal legal abortions are…especially for the baby.

  6. Don from NH says:

    Ever heard of the Hyde Amendemnet? Go read it.

  7. naturgesetz says:

    Frank — The “need” for abortions? What the hell are you talking about? You know that only a miniscule number of abortions are performed in circumstances in which the mother will die if the abortion is not performed. There is no real “need” for all the others. They are a choice, not a “need.” I’m not saying that the very few abortions to save the life of the mother are morally justified, but at least they are understandable, and refusing them requires a high degree of heroism. But those could clearly be performed in a hospital setting. There is no “need” for back-alley butchers if PP is defunded.

  8. When will people realize the Federal Government is not your friend. You grant power to any institution, and that power will be used against you. This government was intended tho be limited. Limitations today are a joke. People no longer have a right to self rule.

    I applaud Indiana. It’s now time for the other states to support them, and to get our Republican Congress to back them.

  9. @Frank – There have never been a million and a half abortions a year. Whatever abortions occured in the past were a pitiful handfull.

    A million and a half abortions a year is a slaughter, a halocaust. There is nothing more evil than the killing of the innocent, the voiceless, the powerless.

  10. Don from NH says:

    If the govt is not our friend why do you want this “nasty govt” to requlate abortions, wont the govt use that power against us.

    I can never understand this, the majority who want the govt to control abortion hate govt and dont trust it…then why do you trust it to regulate abortion?

  11. The unborn are human beings with a right to life. There are laws against murder.

  12. Frank…you are right, we don’t want to go back to those bad old days…why should we, when they occur right now under the mantra of “safe and legal.”

    How fast we have seem to forgotten Dr. Kermit Gosnell.

  13. pagansister says:

    It’s called “choice” which is a right women should not be denied. It was denied too long, with dire consequences. Not all women think like those that make the laws.

  14. I don’t have the choice to murder my neighbor, even in the privacy of my own home. Choice is murder.

  15. I saw an interview with the devil yesterday on TV and it is the president of Planned Parenthood.

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