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.


Arizona Daily Star- 2 June 2000 and Kaiser Daily

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