This week, 41 members of Congress signed on to a federal appeals court brief that defends Indiana state law preventing Hoosier tax dollars from going to subsidize the abortion industry.
The friend of the court brief from the American Center for Law and Justice follows an earlier brief from the Thomas Moore Law Center in which 60 state legislators signed on to defend the new law. The legal briefs are part of the state's appeal of a lower court ruling by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, which put the new law on hold and restored tax funding to Planned Parenthood.
The ACLJ brief argues for Indiana's right to set parameters for Medicaid recipients. They note, "Federal Medicaid statutes and regulations give States broad discretion to craft the rules applicable to their Medicaid programs. Congress left intact the States' authority to determine what makes an entity qualified to provide Medicaid services, 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(p)(1), while ensuring that Medicaid recipients may utilize any practitioner deemed to be qualified under State law, 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a)(23). Since HEA 1210 does not limit a beneficiary's ability to choose among providers that are deemed to be qualified, it is consistent with federal Medicaid law."
This state's rights argument has been mentioned in many news reports. Perhaps more interesting is another argument in the ACLJ brief that urges the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals to overturn the lower court decision. It attacks Planned Parenthood and the ACLU's "novel claim that abortion providers have a constitutional right to perform abortions and receive public funds; if accepted, this argument would unduly restrict the policy discretion that Congress and state and local governments have to decide how to spend public funds." Calling the abortion industry's audacious claim to a constitutional right to our tax dollars "novel" is kind to say the least.
The ACLJ brief is signed by the following members of the U.S. House of Representatives:
Michele Bachmann, Larry Bucshon, Dan Burton, Francisco "Quico" Canseco, Michael Conaway, John Fleming, Bill Flores, Randy Forbes, Virginia Foxx, Trent Franks, Scott Garrett, Vicky Hartzler, Jeb Hensarling, Tim Huelskamp, Randy Hultgren, Lynn Jenkins, Bill Johnson, Walter Jones, Jim Jordan, Mike Kelly, Steve King, John Kline, Doug Lamborn, Jeff Landry, James Lankford, Robert Latta, Kenny Marchant, Thaddeus McCotter, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Jeff Miller, Alan Nunnelee, Ron Paul, Mike Pence, Joe Pitts, Mike Pompeo, Todd Rokita, Chris Smith, Lamar Smith, Marlin Stutzman, Glenn Thompson, and Todd Young.