The objections set the stage for a clash between the White House and Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, over an issue that ignites passions in both parties.
The changes in Indiana are subject to federal review and approval, and administration officials have made it clear they will not approve the changes in the form adopted by the state.
Federal officials have 90 days to act but may feel pressure to act sooner because Indiana is already enforcing its law, which took effect on May 10, and because legislators in other states are working on similar measures.
If a state Medicaid program is not in compliance with federal law and regulations, federal officials can take corrective action, including “the total or partial withholding” of federal Medicaid money. The mere threat of such a penalty is often enough to get states to comply. Actually imposing the penalty would, in many cases, hurt the very people whom Medicaid is intended to help.
In other words, this White House views withholding Medicaid benefits from Indiana's neediest families as an acceptable means to an overriding end: The restoration of state funds to Planned Parenthood. But who says Democrats are bought and paid for by the abortion lobby?
UPDATE - A new nationwide Gallup poll shows that 61 percent of Americans believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.