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Dennis, Amanda, Ruth Manski, and Kelly Blanchard. “Does Medicaid Coverage Matter? A Qualitative Multi-State Study of Abortion Affordability for Low-Income Women.” Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 25, no. 4 (November 2014): 1571–85.


This social science study compares the experiences of pregnant people in states with and without state Medicaid funding bans on abortion. In states where Medicaid coverage was inaccessible or largely unavailable, most low-income pregnant people suffered serious financial hardships in order to pay for their abortions out-of-pocket. For instance, pregnant people had to cut back on necessities such as food, take out loans, work additional hours, and sell personal possessions. The study includes quotes from study participants in various states, which evidence the emotional toll of abortion funding restrictions. The study reveals that almost all of the participants found the process of gathering funds to pay for an abortion out-of-pocket to be difficult, stressful, and humiliating. Additionally, many participants faced long-term difficulties due to loans or other financial burdens incurred due to a lack of insurance coverage. This study also provides information about the benefits of accessing care in states where Medicaid coverage for abortions is available, and information about where there are areas for improvement.


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Abortion funding bans   Economic justice   Government regulation   Intersectionality   Abortion   Health care   Pregnancy