Indiana Planned Parenthood Loses Tax Credit Due To New Abortion Law

While a district judge considers whether to grant a preliminary injunction against a new law that seeks to strip Indiana Planned Parenthood of federal funding, the non-profit has taken another hit: the organization recently learned that its application for the 2011 Neighborhood Assistance Program was rejected by Indiana’s Housing and Community Development Authority.

The Neighborhood Assistance Program lets nonprofits leverage contributions from individuals. Donors participating in the program receive a tax credit worth half their donation on their state income taxes.Rejection from the program means further strains for Indiana Planned Parenthood funding, which, as of late, is increasingly dependent on donations. In the two years it used the program’s tax credits, Indiana Planned Parenthood raised $21,238 for preventative services for low-income Marion County residents, many of whom depend on these services as their primary means of health care. Betty Cockrum, President and CEO of Indiana Planned Parenthood estimates that the organization could face a loss of $9000 this year because of the Neighborhood Assistance Program’s rejection.

The decision came in a June 1 letter from Indiana’s Housing and Community Development Authority to Cockrum, claiming that the application was rejected because of a new state law, HEA 1210, that includes a provision to cut all funds to Planned Parenthood, as well as any entity that provides abortions. In short, Indiana Planned Parenthood’s application was rejected because it violates HEA 1210. According to Cockrum,

In essence, the State is taking yet another step to keep us from providing affordable health care to our patients. 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.

As budgets are being slashed, GOP leaders in Washington have introduced legislation that would limit access to services for low-income Americans, particularly women. In February of this year, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) introduced legislation that would have stripped Planned Parenthood of federal funding across the country. While the measure passed the House, it was rejected by the Senate. An attempt to tie a defunding of Planned Parenthood into negotiations to avert a government shutdown also failed.

But since then, Indiana, Kansas, and North Carolina have restricted funding to Planned Parenthood at the state level.

Beyond Planned Parenthood, the House last week debated a food and farm spending bill that could see aid for low-income pregnant women and their children cut. One such program that could suffer is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which provides food assistance to poor and expectant mothers, and their children. During amendment consideration on the bill, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) proposed a 10 percent cut to the program, while Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) proposed cutting $82.5 million from the program.