Thursday, July 23, 2009
Since 1976, Congress has annually approved the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal Medicaid funds to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the woman's life. Some states, however, use state funds to pay for procedures in other cases for poor women.
Similar measures bar the use of federal funds for abortion in other situations, such as for women in the military, those in federal prisons, women receiving care through the Indian Health Service and those relying on the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
Abortion opponents are concerned that health-care legislation pending in Congress would nullify the Hyde Amendment and other measures, as well as require private health insurers and any public health insurance programs to pay for abortion. Currently, insurers are neither required nor forbidden to pay for abortions.
-- Rob Stein