In 1976, three years after the Roe and Doe decisions, the Hyde Amendment was first passed, which prohibited any federal funds from being used for abortion except if the life of the mother was at risk. In the 90’s, under the Clinton Administration, this was expanded to include cases of rape or incest as well. Despite the call from Democratic candidates to get rid of the Hyde Amendment, a majority of Americans do not support their tax dollars being used to fund abortions.
The Hyde Amendment, however, only dictates the use of federal funds and because states set their own policies regarding healthcare, many states still allow for abortion funding, while 4 (New York, California, Illinois, and Maine) require ALL healthcare plans to include abortion. Although these are private plans, due to the subsidies provided through Obamacare, many of these plans covering abortion will be subsidized by the taxpayer.
To determine the number of plans that included elective abortions, the Family Research Council and Charlotte Lozier Institute have completed their 6th annual review of abortion coverage in individual plans and the number of overall plans has risen from around 1000 last year to 1200 this year. The rise marks a 4% growth as last year 65% of plans covered abortion compared to 69% this year which comes out to 777 plans that cover abortion.
It is also difficult many times to be able to determine whether your plan supports abortion or not, so as a part of their review, they include a website to track which plans include such coverage. Their website, http://www.obamacareabortion.com/, has an interactive map with each state and the coverage available through the Obamacare website in that state. Currently, 26 states have opted out of abortion coverage with 24 and the District of Columbia opting in.
While a majority of states have chosen to not use their citizens tax dollars to fund abortions, a large number still do, which is out of step with over 75% of Americans in a recent Marist poll (something they’ve only gotten away with by hiding it from the public in the subsections of insurance policies that no one reads). Especially as 2019 comes to a close and we welcome 2020, one political question that will be sure to play out is whether abortions anywhere in the United States should be funded with tax dollars, to which the answer from Americans has been unequivocally no.
Have any questions regarding the FRC and CLI’s review? Contact them here: [email protected]