States Lead the Way in Promoting Coverage of Abortion in Medicaid and Private Insurance
Adam Sonfield, Guttmacher Institute
Elizabeth Nash, Guttmacher Institute
First published online: June 24, 2019
Advocates and policymakers working to ensure that everyone can afford an abortion scored a number of important victories within just a few days of each other: On June 13, Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a law expanding abortion coverage in private insurance and Medicaid. Just one day earlier, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker had signed a law expanding private insurance coverage of abortion as part of a broader abortion rights law. The same week, New York City allocated $250,000 to a nonprofit abortion fund to directly assist patients, including patients traveling from other states.
This burst of action builds on a nationwide push to overturn the Hyde Amendment, which currently bans abortion coverage under Medicaid and other federal health coverage programs. Expanding coverage will help people overcome one substantial barrier to abortion—the cost of abortion services—and will be particularly important for people with low incomes, people of color and people with disabilities.
How Six-Week Abortion Bans Are Fueling a 'Radical' Year for Abortion Law
The bans mark an unprecedented year for abortion legislation—and a potential political turning point.
Apr 12, 2019
The projected political reckoning of abortion rights has arrived. Abortion bills, as expected, dominated state legislatures in early 2019, pushing the issue ever closer to the United States Supreme Court.
Among the 28 states considering abortion bans in the first four months of the year, a handful of the most conservative are aiming to ban abortion at just six weeks' gestation—when an embryonic "heartbeat" (doctors use the term cardiac activity, and embryos don't have hearts so much as tissues that will become the heart) can be detected. Abortion rights groups say the measures are so extreme that they effectively amount to outright abortion bans, since few women who want abortions would be able to access them before the cut-off, or perhaps even know they're pregnant.
Senators Introduce Legislation to Finally Repeal the Hyde Amendment and End Wide-Ranging Federal Abortion-Funding Ban
March 12, 2019
by Christine Grimaldi
Holly Alvarado realized she might be pregnant while standing in the middle of a Walmart near Grand Forks Air Force Base, where she was stationed in 2009. Alvarado, then 22, was struggling to afford the supplies, like socks, underwear, and boots, she would need for at least six months in the Middle East. She had emptied her apartment of most belongings except for the sleeping bag she crawled into at night and crammed the rest in a storage unit, an expense that would grow over time. Alvarado had two weeks left in North Dakota before pre-deployment training began in Texas. From there, she would go on to serve her country. Alvarado knew she wanted an abortion almost as soon as she experienced her first wave of nausea in the Walmart. But Tricare, the military’s health-insurance program, would not cover the procedure.
Members of Congress Take Bold Step Towards Ending Discriminatory Bans on Abortion Coverage
By Georgeanne M. Usova, Legislative Counsel
March 12, 2019
Members of Congress on Tuesday took a bold step toward making the right to abortion a reality for everyone. The EACH Woman Act was reintroduced in the House — and introduced in the Senate for the first time ever.
This trailblazing legislation would end the Hyde Amendment and related bans on insurance coverage of abortion, which for over four decades have pushed abortion care out of reach for those enrolled in Medicaid and other government health insurance plans and programs.
Yes, I do want your taxes to pay for abortion
Ending the Hyde amendment, which bans federal funding of abortions, will give Americans their full rights – and dignity
Mon 3 Dec 2018
Abortion rights did not fare well in the midterm elections. Alabama voters approved a measure that will grant full legal personhood to fertilized eggs, a move that will massively restrict the rights of pregnant and fertile women and ban all abortions in the state after the fall of Roe v Wade. West Virginians removed state Medicaid funding for abortion procedures via a constitutional amendment.
Meanwhile, Republicans expanded their control of the Senate, allowing them to continue to stuff the federal courts with their rabidly anti-choice judicial nominees.
Nowhere to “Hyde”: Congressional Democrats target restriction on federal abortion funding
By Gabriela Resto-Montero
Aug. 4, 2018
For over 40 years, the Hyde Amendment has barred any federal money from being used to pay for abortions, except for in some cases involving rape, incest or instances where the mother may lose her life. Although the amendment is just a rider on the annual appropriation bill to fund the Health and Human Services Department, in every year since 1976, Congress has approved the measure. Those days may now be over.
In response to President Donald Trump endorsing making the Hyde Amendment a permanent law during his campaign, Democratic Congresswomen Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and former New York representative Louise Slaughter, who has since died, introduced the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act, or EACH Woman Act, in January 2017 to allow any woman who has health insurance through the federal government to have access to all reproductive care services, including abortion.