abortion rights

Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision could affect health insurance coverage

Abortion rights demonstrators protest outside the United States Supreme Court as the court rules in the Dobbs v Women’s Health Organization abortion case, overturning the landmark Roe v Wade abortion decision in Washington, U.S., June 24, 2022. 

Jim Bourg | Reuters

Even when Roe v. Wade was in effect and women had the legal right to an abortion no matter where they lived in the U.S., health insurance coverage of the procedure was limited.

Many states restrict what plans can cover, and a decadeslong national law bans the use of federal funds for abortions, meaning that women on Medicaid and Medicare were often not covered when it came to pregnancy terminations.

With abortion now expected to be prohibited in at least half the states after the landmark decision protecting women’s right to an abortion was overturned by the Supreme Court last week, coverage will only become rarer, experts say.

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Republican states trying to ban abortion expand health benefits for new mothers | Abortion

A number of Republican-led states that are moving to ban abortion are, at the same time, extending health insurance benefits to new mothers, professing to support “women in crisis”.

As the US supreme court prepares to rule on national abortion rights, many Republican states are seeking severe abortion bans that would force many women to carry pregnancies to term, likely worsening the US maternal mortality crisis.

Some of those same lawmakers are now passing bills that extend Medicaid benefits to low-income mothers, typically for one year after they give birth rather than the current two months.

Arizona, Florida, Tennessee and Texas have all extended health benefits for low-income mothers in recent months, and Alabama and Georgia have both moved to implement such extensions, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. All have also sought to impose severe abortion restrictions or bans.

Although expanding pregnancy-related health coverage is “a win

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