Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

August-30-02

Debate Over Medicaid Funding For Abortions Resumes In Florida

A judge in Florida refused to dismiss a lawsuit yesterday challenging the state’s ban for funding most abortions under Medicaid. While Administrative Judge Patricia Malono does not have the authority to hear the case involving a pregnant epileptic woman seeking an abortion to avert serious medical risks to herself and her child, she did hear arguments from both sides and passed the case on to an appeals court.

With legal representation from the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy and the American Civil Liberties Union, a Miami abortion clinic, a doctor and Monica Navarrete – a pregnant woman who has epilectic seizures during pregnancy and has previously given birth to a child with a serious bone disease resulting from her taking anti-seizure medication – filed the lawsuit, claiming that the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration’s denial of Medicaid coverage for abortion discriminates against low-income women who seek to terminate their pregnancies for medical reasons. Medicaid does cover all reproductive health care needed by men, the suit argues, including Viagra for impotency. “This is not about the right to legal abortions or any right to medical care,” Attorney Bonnie Scott Jones argued, as reported in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “It’s about the right of women to equal treatment in the Medicaid program.”

In Florida, Medicaid will pay for abortions needed to save the life of the woman or in cases of rape or incest. However, federal law allows states to limit the use of federal tax dollars to pay for abortions. Bob Sharpe, Florida’s Medicaid director, testified the state would not get federal matching dollars for abortions in cases such as Navarrete’s.

Pro-choice activists note that improving access to abortion under Medicaid could curb unsafe, illegal abortions among poor women. In 1977, Rosie Jimenez became the first victim of the Hyde Amendment that bans the use of federal money for abortions except to save a woman’s life. Jimenez was a poor, single mother saving money for college who decided to have a back alley abortion instead of using her tuition money so that she could some day make it off welfare and support herself and her daughter on her own.

Media Resources: Associated Press 8/30/02; Sarasota Herald-Tribune 8/28/02; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 8/29/02; News-Press 8/30/02


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

11/21/2014 STATEMENT: Feminist Majority Foundation Applauds President's Executive Order on Immigration - Statement from Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority Foundation president: "The Feminist Majority Foundation applauds President Obama for taking much needed executive action to help fix our broken immigration system that has for too long torn hardworking families apart. . . .
 
11/21/2014 Fifth Circuit Court Refuses to Reconsider Ruling Blocking Mississippi TRAP Law - The full US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday refused to reconsider a panel decision blocking enforcement of a Mississippi law that threatened to close the last remaining abortion clinic in the state. In July, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction against a Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals. . . .
 
11/21/2014 UN Expert Calls for Action To End Violence Against Women in Afghanistan - United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Rashida Manjoo returned last week from a nine-day official visit in Afghanistan with a call to the Afghan Government and the international community to continue its focus on creating sustainable solutions to reduce violence against women. This was Manjoo's third visit to Afghanistan, and the Special Rapporteur noted many positive developments since her travel to the country in 1999, during the Taliban regime, and in 2005. In particular, Manjoo cited the creation of the Elimination of Violence Against Women Law (EVAW) by presidential decree in 2009 as "a key step towards the elimination of violence against women and girls."EVAW criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women - including rape, child and forced marriage, domestic violence, trafficking, and forced self-immolation - and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .