The first person to die of an unsafe illegal abortion after Roe v. Wade was a Latina. Rosie Jimenez could not afford care from a safe, licensed provider.
She was refused coverage from Medicaid because of a federal policy called the Hyde Amendment, which withholds health benefits for abortion. Colorado has a similar policy on our books. The aim is to make services unaffordable and it has worked.
Far too many low-income women and women of color are not able to access abortion care when we need it – and for women like Rosie that can prove not just harmful, but deadly.
Withholding insurance coverage denies people the chance of making the best decision for them and their families. When someone needs health care should they have to scramble to find the money? No. Should we put people in a position where they would decide between paying rent or buying groceries and getting a service that they need? No. But that is what is happening.
Whether it is a public or private program, health insurance should cover the full range of care that we need to prevent unintended pregnancy, to build our families and have a healthy pregnancy, and to seek safe abortion care when we need to.
Karla Gonzales Garcia