The Senate voted Wednesday to eliminate Medicaid funding for abortions performed by managed care organizations. Exceptions would be granted in instances where the unwanted pregnancy was caused by rape or incest or endangers the mother’s life. The House will consider this provision, sponsored by Sen. John Ashcroft, R-Missouri, later this week.
According to Kate Michelman, president of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, abortion services are currently covered by two thirds of managed-care plans. The Senate’s move will have a particularly devastating affect on poor women, who depend on Medicaid-funded managed care for their basic healthcare. Parenthood Federation of America president Gloria Feldt remarked, “This action stands in stark contrast to the original intent of the federal Medicaid program by further marginalizing poor women and erecting barriers to equal health care for all.”