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June-02-00

Arizona Must Pay for Medically Necessary Abortions for Poor Women

A Superior Court Judge ruled that Arizona
lawmakers overstepped their bounds in
restricting state-paid abortions only to cases
of rape or incest or where the mother's life is
in danger. Judge Kenneth Fields said that
legislators are bound to fund "all medically
necessary abortions" for poor women; making
exceptions, he argues, is unconstitutional.

Arizona's Health Care Cost Containment
System (AHCCS) provides free medical care
for citizens whose income is less than $6,000
per year for a family of four. Bebe Anderson,
attorney for the Center for Reproductive Law
and Policy that argued the case, claimed
"lawmakers violated the rights of women in
the AHCCCS program by legislatively
determining which abortions are medically
necessary." Despite the fact that AHCCCS is
largely federally funded and the Hyde
Amendment blocks the federal funding of
abortions, Judge Fields ruled that the state
itself is responsible for funding all medically
necessary abortions for its poor women.

Media Resources: Arizona Daily Star- 2 June 2000 and Kaiser Daily

   

     

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