Brief Examines Access to Abortion Coverage and Health Reform

A new brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation examines issues surrounding abortion coverage in the ongoing debate over health care reform. The brief explains current federal and state laws regarding coverage of abortion by Medicaid and private insurance companies, discusses the treatment of coverage for abortion services under the major health reform bills in the House and the Senate, and explores the possible impact of the recent House-passed legislation on coverage for abortion services. The discussion of the impact of the recent legislation focuses on women with private insurance, women on Medicaid, and the definitions of federal exceptions for rape, incest, and life endangerment. The brief also touches on state’s rights to expand abortion coverage using their own funds.

From the brief: “Women have much at stake in the ongoing national debate on health reform. Comprehensive coverage and the scope of benefits are at the heart of making health care accessible to women. The decisions that policy makers enact regarding access and coverage of abortion are sure to be the subject of tremendous discussion and debate, and could affect care for millions of women today and in the future.”

The full brief can be found at

The Kaiser Family Foundation has also created an interactive side-by-side health reform comparison tool that now includes the House bill as passed Nov. 7. This tool can found at