The blows keep rolling in for Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN), which recently learned that it had been denied renewed admittance to the state's Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP). The tax credit program helps organizations leverage donations from supporters; PPIN has used the fundraising tool for the last two years, yielding $21,238 for preventative health care.
In a discouraging June 1 letter, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) informed PPIN President and CEO Betty Cockrum that the decision came as a consequence of HEA 1210, signed into law by Gov. Mitch Daniels on May 10.
According to a press release circulated by PPIN on Monday:
“In essence, the State is taking yet another step to keep us from providing affordable health care to our patients,” Cockrum said. “And they’re doing it at a time when we need our donors’ assistance badly. Our supporters are the only reason we are able to cover the costs of treating our established Medicaid patients through June 20 while seeking a preliminary injunction against HEA 1210.”
Established by Indiana Code 6-3.1-9, NAP offers up to $2.5 million annually in tax credits to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations. Corporations can then distribute the credits to donors at 50% of contribution amount; credits are subtracted from a donor's state income tax liability. The NAP application package states that the program is designed to "serve as a creative way to improve the standard of living and quality of life for all Indiana residents," including "Medical care" under its "Community Services" category.
In Monday's press release:
“The state is chipping away at our patient care, and it will certainly have consequences,” Cockrum said. “Any time you’re reducing access to lifesaving Pap tests, birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, you are indeed reducing Hoosiers’ quality of life. This is a highly-questionable move on the State’s part and we’re disappointed to have to continually explain to them that it’s our patients who are going to suffer.”
Sherry Seiwert, executive director of IHCDA, wrote in the June 1 letter that PPIN's application had been denied based on I.C. 5-22-17-5.5 section of HEA 1210, which states: "An agency of the state may not enter into a contract with or make a grant to any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed that involves the expenditure of state funds or federal funds administered by the state."
PPIN is currently awaiting a decision following an injunction hearing last Monday in a U.S. District Court regarding the constitutionality of the new law. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt has said she will make a decision by July 1.