March 1, 2013
"Medicaid Coverage for Abortion Care Elusive Even in States Where it is Legal," Steph Herold, RH Reality Check: Although 17 states offer Medicaid coverage for abortion, actually using the coverage to pay for an abortion is so difficult that it seldom happens in some states, according to research briefs from Ibis Reproductive Health. For instance, abortion providers in Maryland indicated that "while their state Medicaid theoretically covers abortion regardless of the circumstances, in practice, it rarely covered abortion at all," Herold writes. Meanwhile, abortion providers and low-income women in Arizona reported challenges enrolling in Medicaid and obtaining abortion coverage through the program. The briefs "reveal that having Medicaid coverage of abortion doesn't necessarily guarantee access to timely safe abortion care," Herold writes, adding, "Medicaid coverage is in theory an invaluable resource, but in reality it is not accessible at all if the system does not work properly or actually cover the procedures it is supposed to cover" (Herold, RH Reality Check, 2/26).
What others are saying about abortion coverage:
~ "Another Legislative Session in Minnesota, Another Attempt To Challenge Doe v. Gomez," Robin Marty, RH Reality Check.
"Hope in Indiana? Both Republicans and Democrats Express Reservations on Banning Medication Abortion," Marty, RH Reality Check: Indiana lawmakers modified a bill on medication abortion "in the face of massive criticism [that it would] force women to undergo unnecessary trans-vaginal ultrasounds," Marty writes, but "the actual motive behind SB 317 -- the attempt to close down the only clinic in the state that provides only medication, not surgical, abortions -- is still just as intact." She discusses pressure on lawmakers from various angles as the measure heads into a vote in the House. "Eventually, if SB 317 passes all chambers, it would then be up to Governor Mike Pence to decide whether to sign or veto the law," Marty writes, noting that while Pence stressed fiscal issues when he pursued the governorship, "[s]igning the bill would reinforce that regardless of what he says on the campaign trail, his primary aim is to use his office to advance the religious right's crusade" (Marty, RH Reality Check, 2/26).
What others are saying about medication abortion:
~ "Texas Senate Committee Considers Bill Limiting Medical Abortions," Andrea Grimes, RH Reality Check.
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.