Question: Do you know if Medicaid pays for abortions?
Answer: It depends on where you live. In some states it does and in others it doesn’t.
I know where I live, in New York, Medicaid not only covers abortions, but if a woman is under 21, she can get something called "Emergency Medicaid" if she isn’t able to pay for the procedure. This can be applied for on the spot, but it is a pretty unique program and in most states the process is a lot more complicated.
So why isn’t abortion always covered? Largely, this is due to something called the Hyde Amendment. This amendment passed in 1976 and it determines what abortion services are covered under Medicaid. Until the Hyde Amendment passed, Medicaid covered abortions, just like it covered almost any other procedure. After it passed, states were barred from using federal funds to cover abortions except in cases of rape or incest. However, a Medicaid program can pay for abortion as long as it uses state and not federal funds to do so. 17 states have decided to do this.
Check out the National Abortion Federation to find out if Medicaid covers abortion in your state. What happens if you live in a state that won’t cover you? One option is to contact the National Network of Abortion Funds. This organization helps over 22,000 women a year pay for abortions if they can’t otherwise do so.
Having an abortion is hard enough as it is! It is really unfortunate that so many women also have to struggle with how to pay for it.
Have you had an experience with Medicaid and abortion? What was it like?