Mitch Daniels: Whatever happened to his call for a "truce" in the culture wars?

The law, lawyers, and the court.
June 3 2011 6:24 PM

Mitch Daniels, Culture Warrior

Indiana's abortion-funding law makes a mockery of his call for a "truce" in the culture wars.

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The whole purpose of the rules is to ensure that women have a broad range of choices in vital health care. That's why perhaps the most damning piece of information in this whole mess comes from state Sen. Scott Schneider, who drafted the amendment that became the bill. Schneider asserted recently that family planning funds would be diverted from Planned Parenthood to nonabortion providers and that family health clinics in the state would now qualify for the newly diverted funds. That's not true:  State Republicans, asked to show where these other family planning services were located, offered up a list last month of alleged providers that included "a Salvation Army addiction center, a homeless shelter, several mental health centers, a juvenile detention center and the Indiana Women's Prison." When asked if he even knew what other services Planned Parenthood offered, Schneider couldn't answer. Maybe on his planet, if women can't get a pap smear at the Salvation Army, she didn't need one anyhow. In any event, there's always Walgreens.

Don't be fooled by the argument that if only 4 percent of Planned Parenthood's services are abortions, they can just stop doing them to comply with Indiana's new law. Once again: Abortion is legal. President Obama isn't holding poor Hoosiers hostage to his pro-abortion whims. The opposite is true: The governor is holding them hostage to his attempt to circumvent the law of the land.

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Oh, and don't be fooled by Daniels' and Schneider's plaintive claims that this is all somehow a fight over states' rights. Truth be told, it's a fight over states' rights to take federal funds while violating federal law. That doesn't sound like high-minded federalist principle so much as bald-faced hypocrisy. We just happen to live at a moment in which it can be hard to tell the difference between the two.

Correction, June 7, 2011: The article originally stated Indiana could lose $4 million in Medicaid funds. The figure is, in fact, $4 billion. (Return to the corrected sentence.)