December 11, 2015
"Abortion Access -- No Matter How Much Money You Make," Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, American Civil Liberties Union's "Speak Freely": Kolbi-Molinas writes about ACLU's lawsuit against Maine's ban on Medicaid coverage for abortion care. According to Kolbi-Molinas, "32 states and the District of Columbia exclude abortion coverage from otherwise comprehensive benefits" in their Medicaid programs. Meanwhile, 17 states "provide abortion coverage in their existing Medicaid plans with state funds," and ACLU's latest lawsuit aims to make Maine the 18th state to provide such coverage. She writes, "[T]ime and again, we hear the (hollow) refrain -- 'no taxpayer funding for abortion' -- as if that somehow sets these bans apart from other laws designed to prevent a woman who has decided to have an abortion from having one, such as mandatory delay laws and sham laws that force clinics to shut down." According to Kolbi-Molinas, "Public insurance bans are government-imposed barriers to abortion access, the same as any other restriction that makes it difficult or impossible for women to obtain abortions." She concludes, "A woman has a right to make her own decision about whether to end a pregnancy without politicians withholding the resources she might need to make that decision -- like Medicaid funding, if she qualifies for it," and withholding such benefits "from the people who qualify for them and need them is dangerous and wrong" (Kolbi-Molinas, "Speak Freely," American Civil Liberties Union, 12/10).
What others are saying about abortion restrictions:
~ "State of The States: Abortion Access in 2015," Women's Law Project blog.
~ "Whole Woman's Health v. Cole: The Tightening Relationship Between Due Process and Equal Protection," Rachel Easter, National Women's Law Center/American Constitution Society blog.