Planned Parenthood sues state to stop seizure of records
By Sophia Voravong, Journal and Courier
Planned Parenthood of Indiana is suing the state after the attorney general’s office seized the medical records of eight juvenile patients, including five from the Lafayette area.
The lawsuit filed Monday in Marion Superior Court in Indianapolis seeks temporary and permanent injunctions against Attorney General Steve Carter and his Medicaid Fraud Control Unit from searching the records of 12- and 13-year-old patients.
The unit, since March 1, has seized records from clinics in Bloomington, Franklin and Lafayette.
“They’re using a pretty intimidating tool and twisting it in an effort to get confidential records,” said Betty Cockrum, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Indiana.
She said of Carter, “He does not have, under the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the provision to seek the information he is seeking.”
Spokeswoman Staci Schneider of the attorney general’s office said the unit seized the records as part of an ongoing investigation to determine if Planned Parenthood has been reporting instances of child molestation.
Failing to do so constitutes abuse and/or neglect, she said.
“When you have knowledge of potential child abuse or neglect, you’re required to report that. There are standards to live up to … as a Medicaid provider,” Schneider said Monday.
“We’re pursuing because it’s our duty to ensure that Medicaid providers are following the law.”
Unit director Allen K. Pope also has requested the records of 73 other patients at 19 clinics, according to the lawsuit, which names Pope and Carter as defendants.
The unit showed up at the Lafayette clinic, 1016 E. Main St., on March 7, said Cockrum. She said the demand for additional records is a “fishing expedition.”
Cockrum said she has not been told why the attorney general’s office wants the medical records.
Indiana law defines child abuse as sexual activity with someone age 13 or under, including cases in which the partner is also a minor, according to Cockrum’s attorney, Ken Falk of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union.
thanks to reader AngryFFEMT for the tip.
This is identical to what happened in Kansas. Whatever would make two AGs in midwestern states suddenly hit on the idea of subpoenaing the records of abortion providers to troll for possible victims of abuse?
The people in the middle of the country are getting scary – I think they believe the bullshit about America’s Heartland. You can call it Heartland, or you can call it Motherland, or Fatherland, it’s all the same myth and it’s always used for the same purpose. As always, it’s all mixed up with tent revival Protestantism. It’s a heady brew.
I’m grateful to Planned Parenthood for suing. I might just send them something for that.