Medicaid Cannot Cover Your Abortion, Even When Your Health Is At Risk

In 2010, the Virginia General Assembly voted to expand its ban on state abortion coverage for Medicaid-eligible women, prohibiting coverage even when a woman’s health is at risk. 33 states and the District of Columbia prohibit state coverage of abortion services for Medicaid-eligible women. Governor Robert McDonnell proposed the prohibition as an amendment to the biennial budget. The amendment was approved by the House of Delegates 64-30 and by the State Senate 20-19.

Sources: 12 Va. Admin. Code § 30-50-105(E); 12 Va. Admin. Code § 30-50-140(F); 12 Va. Admin. Code § 30-50-100(D); HB 30, 2010; Guttmacher Institute, State Policies in Brief, “State Funding of Abortion Under Medicaid.”

Christie’s story:

“In 2003, I was joyfully expecting my second child. It was a very wanted and very much planned pregnancy. The pregnancy progressed smoothly until we went in for our routine 20 week ultrasound. We were excited to finally find out what the baby’s gender was. It was a girl, but something was very wrong with her… We were told we had TWO options. We could carry the baby for another FOUR months, and watch her suffocate shortly after birth due to underdeveloped lungs, OR we could terminate the pregnancy. We spoke with other parents who had babies with the same condition, and did a lot of soul-searching. Finally, my husband and I decided that the most merciful thing we could do for our baby was to let her go early. I knew that for everyone involved, it was the right thing to do.

I was fortunate in that my husband’s medical insurance policy covered 80% of the expenses related to my termination. If it hadn’t, we would have been stuck with a $15,000 hospital bill. It would have bankrupted our single-income family. No one ever thinks this will happen to them. But when it happens to you, the fact that it’s rare provides no comfort… For residents whose income qualifies them for coverage through Medicaid, there is no way they would be able to pay out-of-pocket for the cost of care in order to carry out a decision that they feel is the most right and moral one for their family.” – Christie, Fredericksburg, VA

Stand Up For Abortion Access

Women who have decided to access an abortion should feel safe and supported, not face shame and barriers.