05-11-2011 by Linda S. Carbonell
U. S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt declined to issue a restraining order on Indiana’s Defund Planned Parenthood law while the suit challenging its legality proceeds. That means that in about a month, the state of Indiana will lose all Medicaid funding from the Federal government. Federal Medicaid law bars states from closing approved providers, and Planned Parenthood is approved for the non-abortion services it supplies to low-income women. States like Indiana that are seeking ways to outlaw abortion are also facing challenges under the 14th amendment clause that requires states to honor the rights of all American citizens as provided by Federal law and the Constitution. So long as abortion is legal at the Federal level, it cannot be outlawed at the state level. This has resulted in states putting together bits of law that make abortions harder to get or impose hurdles that could push a pregnancy past the threshold for having one on demand.
In the end, signing this bill may have no impact on Gov. Mitch Daniels’ decision whether or not to seek the Republican nomination for president. He had initially called for Republicans to call a truce on social issues and concentrate on the economy, until he learned that no one gets the Republican nomination without kissing Christian conservative butt. Now, it appears that his decision has nothing to do with policy and everything to do with family.
Daniels’ wife, Cheri, has a stronger embarrassment gene than Newt Gingrich’s wife, Calista. While Calista, with whom Gingrich had an affair while still married to his first-mistress-turned-second-wife, is fully prepared to plaster on the perfect candidate’s wife smile and face the press over their history. Cheri Daniels is not. In 1993, she took their four daughters and left Mitch for another man. In 1997, she went back to Mitch and they have been happily married ever since. Frankly, the Daniels’ marital history is incredibly tame compared to so many of the Republicans. Mitch wasn’t running an assault on a president that cost the taxpayer over $20 million for doing more than the President was doing. He didn’t pay off a mistress and her husband. He wasn’t claiming to be on the Appalachian Trail while visiting his mistress in another country. He wasn’t social-media-ing half naked photos of himself. He and his wife separated, divorced and reconciled. God, that sounds so ordinary. Cheri really has nothing to be afraid of. Actually, it might be refreshing to have an honest, human woman in the race.