Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

July 11, 2009


ACLU Blog - Twenty-five. That's the percent of women who say they would've obtained a Medicaid-funded abortion if they had the option, but instead carried their pregnancies to term. According to a new Guttmacher report, many of these women are forced to forgo an abortion because they lack personal funds to pay for the procedure. . .

The Hyde Amendment, which was enacted in 1976, excludes abortion from the comprehensive health care services the federal government provides to low-income people through Medicaid. Congress has carved out some exceptions to the ban over the years; currently the only abortions allowed under the federal Medicaid program are those involving a case of rape or incest or when a pregnant woman's life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury. Presently, 32 states and Washington, D.C., follow the federal government's lead. South Dakota, in violation of the Hyde Amendment, is even more draconian and only pays for abortions if a women's life is in danger. That leaves only 17 states that use their own money to pay for all or most medically necessary abortions. That means that only 17 states will help a woman obtain an abortion when her health is in danger. So, that 25 percent includes women with cancer, diabetes, heart conditions, or whose pregnancies otherwise threaten their health who are nonetheless forced to carry their pregnancies to term because they are not deemed likely enough to die from their pregnancies for the government to pay for an abortion.

Guttmacher's new report, "Restrictions on Medicaid Funding for Abortions: A Literature Review," also found that Medicaid funding restrictions delay some women's abortions by two to three weeks, as the women scrounge up the funds necessary for the procedure. Delaying an abortion can both increase the cost of the procedure and the risks. Moreover, when Medicaid will not pay for a low-income woman's abortion, she is often forced to divert money that would otherwise be used to pay for regular expenses, like rent, utility bills, food, and clothing for herself and her children.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as the consciences of those Christian congressmen aren't offended...

July 11, 2009 11:16 PM  

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