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U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt issued a permanent ruling on Tuesday stating that Indiana could not bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal Medicaid funds.

Indiana was the first state to try to deny funds to the non-profit family planning organization because it offers abortions, even though the federal Hyde Amendment bars federal money from being used to perform the procedure.

Planned Parenthood has won legal decisions over the states of Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina and Tennessee since 2011.

And now the GOP’s battle against Planned Parenthood is over in Indiana — however, it continues on a federal level and in Texas, where the refusal to accept federal dollars in order to defund the organization is costing the state millions.

A new study from the Guttmacher Institute, “Contraceptive Needs and Services, 2010,” finds that in 2010, publicly funded contraception helped prevent 2.2 million unintended pregnancies, resulting in taxpayers saving $5.68 for every $1 spent.

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The Republican strategy of closing clinics by implementing onerous regulations in Texas, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Ohio, among other states, is designed to limit abortion access but has the side effect of reducing access to basic family planning.

If Republicans were truly interested in preventing abortions and reducing spending, they’d do everything they could to make family planning readily available by funding Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services. Expanding Medicaid and going along with Obamacare’s birth control mandate would make sense, too.

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Steve Bannon

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

As expected, former President Donald Trump pardoned a long list of cronies during his final weeks in office, including Paul Manafort, his former 2016 campaign manager, and former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. Andrew Weissmann, who served as a lead prosecutor for then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office from 2017-2019, offers a legal analysis and critique of Trump's "abuse of the pardon power" in an article for Just Security.

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