by Max Brantley
This decision is worthy of note because the same elements in the Arkansas legislature that want to end a woman's right to choose abortion also want to strip public funding — including that not related to abortion — from Planned Parenthood.
The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear Indiana's defense of a law that would ban all Medicaid money to an organization such as Planned Parenthood whose work includes performing abortions.
Legislation to end state funding for some sex education in Little Rock was one of the few anti-abortion bills that failed in this year's legislative session. It passed the Senate, but failed to clear a divided House committee. Given this case, that committee might have saved Arkansas some more money from bad law, such as one abortion bill already enjoined by a federal court and another heading in that direction.
The Indiana law had much broader impact, however than that being considered in Arkansas. An appeals court had ruled that the law "excludes Planned Parenthood from Medicaid for a reason unrelated to its fitness to provide medical services, violating its patients’ statutory right to obtain medical care from the qualified provider of their choice.