Documenting the impact of the Hyde Amendment on low-income women and abortion providers
The federal Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of federal Medicaid coverage of abortion except for women whose pregnancies are due to rape or incest, or are life endangering. States have the option of using their own funds to cover abortion care in broader circumstances, but only 17 currently do.
Between 2007 and 2012, Ibis has investigated the impact of the Hyde Amendment through: 1) In-depth interviews with abortion providers at 70 facilities in 15 states; 2) In-depth interviews with more than 70 low-income women in four states; and 3) A “mystery caller” survey of Medicaid staff in 17 states.
Our research shows that abortion providers face challenges filing claims with Medicaid and that most women who should qualify for Medicaid coverage of their abortions are unable to get that coverage. This forces women to come up with money they do not have to pay for abortion care out-of-pocket, which can cause women to delay obtaining care while they look for financial resources, or compel women to continue unwanted pregnancies.
In addition to these challenges working with Medicaid, we also identified a number of effective policy, advocacy, and practice-based strategies that can help improve both abortion providers’ success in filing claims for care and women’s access to timely abortion services. We outline these strategies in our Take Action guides and in our policy briefs. We also provide an in-depth look at how Medicaid coverage of abortion is functioning on the ground in eight states. (See Policy Briefs below.)