Despite President Biden’s strong push to expand abortion access through Medicaid, few states are taking up the offer.
This is due in part to the fact that most states have already placed restrictions on Medicaid funding for abortions. And with many state budgets still tight from the pandemic, some governors are hesitant to commit more funds to abortions.
But advocates say that the lack of access to abortions is a critical issue for women’s health, and that the federal government’s offer should be taken advantage of. They point out that without Medicaid funding, many women will be forced to resort to unsafe, illegal abortions.
It remains to be seen whether more states will take up the offer as the budget situation improves. In the meantime, advocates will continue to push for expanded access to abortion care.
Of the 24 state agencies contacted by Politico, not a single one was actively moving forward with plans to utilize Medicaid to fund out-of-state abortions. This lack of interest among states stands in stark contrast to Biden’s rhetoric on the campaign trail, when he promised to codify Roe v. Wade and make abortion “more accessible than ever.”
It’s unclear why state agencies are so uninterested in taking advantage of Biden’s offer, but it could be due to the fact that many states have their own restrictions on funding abortions. Medicaid only covers abortions in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother’s life, so it’s possible that states simply don’t see the need to use federal funds to expand access.
Whatever the reason, it looks like Biden’s promise to expand abortion access is falling flat. It remains to be seen whether he’ll be able to convince states to change their minds, but for now, it looks like his plan is going nowhere.
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