Do I Pay For Abortions
Yes, at least some. If you live in the United States, regardless of what state you live in, at least some of your tax dollars go to abortions. All Americans directly pay for at least some abortions through federal tax dollars. All Americans also help indirectly fund abortion through tax funding of abortion providers.
If you live in one of the states that cover abortions beyond the provisions of the Hyde Amendment, a much more significant portion of your tax dollars goes directly toward abortions. You also fund more abortions outside of cases such as rape or threat to the mothers life than if you live in one of the other states.
What Can I Do To Reduce Taxpayer Funding Of Abortions
Does Medicare Cover Abortion
Hundreds of thousands of abortions are performed each year in the United States. Although Medicare is often associated with individuals over the age of 65 who are likely past their reproductive years, many people under the age of 65 qualify for Medicare due to disabilities. Medicare benefits may include abortion coverage if specific exceptions and criteria are met for coverage.
What is an Abortion?An abortion can occur in two main ways: using an abortion pill or through an in-clinic procedure. Both of these methods can be highly effective, and each has their own benefits. In most cases, you can get an abortion five to six weeks after your last menstrual cycle, and it is best to schedule your procedure within the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy if possible to avoid any potential complications.
MedicationThe abortion pill, also known as a medication abortion, requires the use of two pills taken up to 48 hours apart. The first of these pills contains mifepristone and the second contains misoprostol. Mifepristone causes your body to stop utilizing progesterone, which is one of the main hormones produced during pregnancy. This stops the pregnancy from progressing any further.
Medicare Benefits Provide Coverage for Abortions
If you have questions regarding your coverage, please contact your plan directly for more information.
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What Are The Health Impacts Of Medicaid Funding Of Abortion
Many people are often confused by the fact that abortions can be covered by Medicaid at all as elective procedures. In many states, however, they are described as medically necessary. Such a term leads people to believe that the hundreds of thousands of abortions being conducted are needed to preserve the mothers lives. Because of this, they naturally believe that in the absence of such funding, womens health and well-being suffer as a result.
This, however, could not be further from the truth. The term medically necessary does not mean that these procedures had to be performed to protect the health of the mother . Medically necessary is merely a classification of procedures covered by Medicaid. Moreover, the evidence shows that Medicaid funding of abortion does not help women tragically, it harms them.
Research in the American Journal of Public Health has shown that when Medicaid funding for abortions is cut, the number and proportion of hospitalizations decreases significantly. This is because not only does cutting funding reduce abortions, but it results in far fewer late-term abortions that carry the largest risks.
If You Have Current Illinois Medicaid Coverage:
Your insurance will cover an abortion 100% You pay nothing. Sedation, medications, lab testing, ultrasound, and RhoGAM if you have a negative blood type are all included, with the procedure. This includes Medicaid coverage through CountyCare, Blue Cross Community Health, Meridian, IlliniCare, and Molina Healthcare.
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Legislative And Judicial History
West Virginia’s primary abortion statute is a holdover from a Virginia law passed in 1848. The statute reads:
Any person who shall administer to, or cause to be taken by, a woman, any drug or other thing, or use any means, with intent to destroy her unborn child, or to produce abortion or miscarriage, and shall thereby destroy such child, or produce such abortion or miscarriage, shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction, shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than three nor more than ten years and if such woman die by reason of such abortion performed upon her, such person shall be guilty of murder. No person, by reason of any act mentioned in this section, shall be punishable where such act is done in good faith, with the intention of saving the life of such woman or child.
âWest Virginia Code, Â§ 61-2-8
In Roe v. Wade the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that states could no longer regulate abortion in the first trimester. later in 2022.) Following this, the above statute was declared unconstitutional by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Doe v. Charleston Area Medical Center .
In March 2015, the West Virginia legislature overrode a veto from governor Earl Ray Tomblin to pass “The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act”, outlawing abortions more than 20 weeks into a pregnancy.
Disparities In Unintended Pregnancy And Medicaid Coverage
Despite recent declines in unintended pregnancy across all groups, disparities still remain, in part as a result of long-standing systemic oppression and racial inequality. Low-income women and women of color are more likely than other groups to experience unintended pregnancy and abortionand women of color are more likely to rely on Medicaid.
- Women of color are more likely than white women to be low income and enrolled in Medicaid. In 2018, 31% of Black women and 27% of Hispanic women aged 1544 were enrolled in Medicaid, compared with 16% of white women.1
- Low-income women are more likely than more affluent women to have an unintended pregnancy. In 2011, the unintended pregnancy rate among women with an income below the federal poverty level was more than five times the rate among women with an income at or above 200% of the poverty level.3
- In addition to having elevated rates of unintended pregnancy, low-income women had 75% of U.S. abortions in 2014 49% of abortion patients that year had a family income less than 100% of the federal poverty level.4
- Women of color are much more likely than white women to experience unintended pregnancy. In 2011, Black and Hispanic women had an unintended pregnancy rate of 79 and 58 per 1,000 women, respectively, compared with a rate of 33 per 1,000 among white women.3
- Medicaid provides critical access to health care for low-income women. In 2018, 13 million women of reproductive age were enrolled in the program.1
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Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes In Your Area
Furthermore, depending on the state that you live in, there may be laws that regulate whether abortion services are covered through Obamacare health insurance, Medicaid or under a private health care policy. Although there are coverage differences, every state does allow you some access to abortion, but you may need to pay for the service out-of-pocket.
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How Does Medicaid Cover Abortions
Not too long after the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973, anti-abortion politicians sought to find ways to restrict abortion as much as possible. Illinois Congressmember Henry Hyde admitted during a floor debate, I would certainly like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion, a rich woman, a middle class woman, or a poor woman. Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is theMedicaid bill. Since 1976, an appropriations bill rider known as the Hyde Amendment has restricted federal funding for abortion services except in the narrow circumstances of rape, incest, or life endangerment. The current version of the Hyde Amendment only allows Medicaid coverage when a patient suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed. Four years after its first passage, the U.S. Supreme Court in Harris v. McRae upheld the Hyde Amendments restrictions on federal funding.
I would certainly like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion, a rich woman, a middle class woman, or a poor woman. Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is theMedicaid bill.
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Costs Associated With Abortion
Abortion can pose a heavy financial burden for low-income women.
- The cost of an abortion without insurance coverage is substantial: In 2014, the average cost of an abortionwhether surgical or medicalat 10 weeks of pregnancy was slightly more than $500. The median cost at 20 weeks was $1,195.9 In addition, patients often must pay out of pocket for additional nonmedical costs, such as transportation, child care and lodging.
- For a woman whose income is at the higher end of Medicaid eligibility in the states that adhere to the Hyde Amendment requirements, paying for an abortion at 10 weeks of pregnancy would take nearly a third of her monthly family income. An abortion at 20 weeks would take almost 90% of her monthly income.
- Many women and families are unable to handle an emergency expense of $500 or more. When U.S. adults were asked in a 2016 nationally representative survey how they would pay for a $400 emergency expense, more than 40% of respondents said that they would be unable to find the money or that they would only be able to cover the unexpected cost by borrowing money or selling something. One-quarter of adults reported having forgone health care in the previous year because of high cost.11
- Forty-one percent of abortion patients surveyed in six states in 2011 said it was somewhat or very difficult to pay for their care.12
State Actions That Restrict Access To Medicaid
Medicaid, the largest source of public funding for family planning services, has long been barred by the Hyde Amendment from covering abortion, except in very limited circumstances. But longstanding federal law requires states to cover family planning services in their basic Medicaid programs and allows states to provide Medicaid-financed family planningonly coverage for low-income individuals who do not qualify for full Medicaid. Under both types of coverage, the federal free choice provision guarantees Medicaid enrollees the right to receive family planning services from any willing and qualified provider.1
Notwithstanding this right, some states have excluded providers that offer abortion services from participating in Medicaid, even though these providers are sometimes the largest, or only, local provider of comprehensive family planning services. By seeking to exclude providers that offer abortions outsidethe Medicaid program, these actions jeopardize womens access to essential family planning and preventive health services withinMedicaid. States have pursued three primary strategies to exclude providers, emboldened by supportive actions from the Trump administration.
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What Other Costs Should I Consider When Deciding If Abortion Is Right For Me
Like with any serious medical procedure, there will likely be other costs that arise surrounding your abortion.
Some additional costs to consider include:
- Lab-quality pregnancy testing
- Emergency surgery in case of abortion complications
- Any income lost while youre away for your abortion or recovering
- Travel and accommodation if necessary
Post-abortive counseling and support
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Virginia General Assembly Passes Bill To Make Some Abortions More Affordable
RICHMOND, Va. On Tuesday, the House of Delegates passed a bill that could make abortions more affordable for thousands of women in Virginia.
The party-line 55-45 vote in the House sends the bill to Gov. Ralph Northams desk after the Senate passed its companion bill last week. If Northam signs the legislation, Virginia would become the first state in the south to lift a ban limiting access to abortion under certain health insurance providers.
The Affordable Care Actalso known as Obamacarecreated a virtual marketplace where people can shop for health insurance. Under current law, private providers selling plans on Virginias health benefits exchange are barred from covering most abortions.
Sen. Jennifer McClellan , who sponsored the legislation, said this has forced many women to pay out-of-pocket for the procedure, which can cost $1,000 in some cases.
It has made access to care unaffordable and out of reach for many women, particularly low income women, women in rural communities and black and brown women, McClellan said.
McClellans bill would not impact coverage for those on Medicaid or employer-based policies. It would allowbut not requireprivate insurers on the states health benefits exchange to cover all legal abortions for the first time in a decade.
McClellans office estimates that this will impact 240,000 Virginians currently enrolled in these plans, though its not clear how many of those people can actually become pregnant.
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Abortion Coverage Under Medicaid
This Q& A provides an overview of how the federal government and states cover abortion under Medicaid. The Q& As Appendix provides a chart looking at every states coverage, including links to certification forms and state policies.
While federal Medicaid funding for abortion is severely constrained, it is not completely unavailable. Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia follow the federal standard and provide abortions in cases of life endangerment, rape, and incest.
This Q& A explains why federal Medicaid funding is limited, and its exceptions and how they work.
Virginia Is For Abortion Access
In 2020, the General Assembly repealed a slew of abortion restrictions aka Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers . With the Reproductive Health Protection Act , Virginia became the first Southern state to pass proactive abortion access legislation. Passing RHPA means we did away with some of the burdensome requirements for abortion services, such as that pesky medically-unecessary ultrasound, the 24-hour mandatory waiting period, and mandated and biased counseling. Dont even get me started on the parking lots. Yes, that was a thing.
With all of the restrictions in place prior to RHPA, you might think abortions arent safer than getting your wisdom teeth out. But youd be wrong! Abortion is safe, and these restrictions are about one thing: old white men wanting to control peoples bodies. The only things that make abortions unsafe are restrictions like TRAP regulations and limited accessibility. Thats why having coverage on our health insurance exchange is so important. It sends the message that Virginia cares about reproductive justice and that we value autonomy.
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State Laws And Policies
For a chart of current laws and policies in each state related to Medicaid coverage of abortion, see State Funding of Abortion Under Medicaid.
For information on state laws and policies related to other sexual and reproductive health and rights issues, see State Laws and Policies, issue-by-issue fact sheets updated monthly by the Guttmacher Institutes policy analysts to reflect the most recent legislative, administrative and judicial actions.
Making Abortion Affordable In The Commonwealth
In 2019, close to 500,000 people gained access to affordable healthcare with Virginias Medicaid expansion. All of those people now have access to affordable abortion care. Cost is a huge barrier to abortion access. Remember, abortion is safe and normal. It should be accessible, and now in Virginia, it is!
For every attempt at limiting our access, there were people working and organizing to get us to where we are today. From bill patrons Sen. Jennifer McClellan and Del. Sally Hudson, organizations like Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice Virginia, *All Above All, Whole Womens Health Alliance, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, and Planned Parenthood Virginia, and grassroots abortion funds like Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project and Blue Ridge Abortion Fund, people across the Commonwealth have made it clear that accessible abortions are not only a priority, but a necessity.
Just listen to the people highlighted in Shining the Light: Accessing Abortion in Virginia. These are stories from our communities. They are our neighbors, our friends, our families. They share the barriers they faced while seeking abortion services, as well as what they think about about access in Virginia. Were screening the documentary on July 31, in Richmond, Virginia. We hope youll join us!
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