Congress, by virtue of the Hyde Amendment, prohibits federal taxpayer funding for virtually all elective abortions. This includes no abortion coverage under Medicaid, the federal employee health benefits plan or the Tricare plan for military families. However, 17 states and the District of Columbia use non-federal funds to provide Medicaid coverage for abortions.
In 1988, Congress amended Title IX to preclude an argument that schools must provide abortion funding in order to comply with legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational institutions receiving federal aid.
The cost of many abortions are covered by private health insurance. During the consideration of the Affordable Care Act in 2009, Representatives Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) offered an amendment which would limit prohibit insurance plans that take subsidized customers from offering abortion coverage. The Stupak-Pitts amendment would have forced low income women to chose between accepting a federal subsidy for health insurance or paying the full cost of an insurance plan that included abortion coverage. It was backed by a group of pro-life House Democrats. The Senate bill did not contain the Stupak-Pitts amendment. President Obama agreed to an Executive Order prohibiting the use of federal funds for abortions under the new law, and ultimately Stupak agreed to the Senate bill, resulting in the end of his long political career.
In 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule regarding establishment of the state health care exchanges required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The rule requires a separate premium to be charged for any abortion coverage costs, and those separate premiums will not be eligible for the federal subsidy that the new law provides to low income households.
- MacGillis, Alec. "Health-care reform and abortion coverage: Questions and answers", Washington Post, November 15, 2009. Retrieved on September 5, 2012.
- One More Step Towards Health Insurance Reform. whitehouse.gov (March 21, 2010). Retrieved on September 5, 2012.
- Chad Pergram and Dominique Pastre. "Rep. Bart Stupak Announces His Retirement After Health Care Controversy", FoxNews.com, April 9, 2010. Retrieved on September 5, 2012.
- Ertelt, Steven. "Obama Admin Finalizes Rules: $1 Abortion Surcharge in ObamaCare", lifenews.com, March 12, 2012. Retrieved on September 5, 2012.