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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

October-24-02

Arizona Supreme Court Rules Against Ban on Medicaid Funding for Abortions

Arizona’s Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that the ban on using Medicaid funding to perform medically necessary abortions on low-income women was unconstitutional, reversing a state appeals court ruling. Until this ruling, the state only allowed Medicaid funding for abortions in the case of rape or incest, or when the pregnant woman’s life was in danger. This ruling will also allow funding for abortions that are necessary to protect the health of pregnant women, thus prolonging their life, according to the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy (CRLP), who provided lead counsel in the suit.

CRLP represented abortion clinics and doctors who argued that because the government provides medical care for the poor through the Medicaid program, it can not then restrict that care without violating women’s right to privacy, according to the Associated Press. The CRLP attorney in the case, Bebe J. Anderson, said in a release that “today’s victory safeguards the health of Arizona’s indigent women.”

Fifteen other states have issued similar rulings guaranteeing poor women’s access to medically necessary, Medicaid-funded abortions, according to AP.

Media Resources: Associated Press 10/22/02; CRLP 10/23/02


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