From RH Reality Check: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/01/18/making-roe-real-all-women
by Kelly Blanchard, Ibis Reproductive Health
January 18, 2013
January 22, 2013, will mark the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark US Supreme Court decision that established a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion. While we celebrate that Roe has enabled millions of women to safely decide whether or when to have a(nother) child, in 2013 many women face significant barriers to accessing safe abortion care. The increase in restrictions on abortion services and providers over the last two years is making it more difficult, if not impossible, for many women, and low-income women in particular, to exercise their fundamental right to make decisions about their futures and their families.
At Ibis Reproductive Health, we conduct original clinical and social science research focused on uncovering gaps in the evidence and identifying new ways to improve women’s reproductive health and choices. We work with advocates, health care providers, and policymakers to use research results to change policies and health care services so that they better meet women’s needs. Some of our recent findings highlight how barriers to accessing abortion harm women; our results also show ways we can improve women’s access to the services they need today, while we continue to fight to eliminate restrictions that do not serve women’s rights or health.
Restrictions on abortion coverage in publicly-funded health insurance programs make it difficult for many women to obtain care, including women enrolled in Medicaid and in the US military. Our work shows that even the minority of women who are legally entitled to Medicaid coverage for their abortion face challenges using their insurance, forcing them to come up with money they do not have—often at great cost to themselves and their families—to pay for their abortion out of pocket. US servicewomen overseas also face significant challenges accessing care. Abortion care is generally not available at military health facilities and is not covered by military insurance, except in limited cases. Women in our studies have reported that a decision to have an abortion can have an impact on a woman’s military career, and the need to request leave from her superiors and travel to undergo the procedure cost time and money, and sometimes lead to breaches of a woman’s confidentiality. We are heartened that the Shaheen Amendment, which extends military insurance coverage of abortion to cases of rape and incest, was included in the recently passed defense bill, but this still leaves many women without access to care.
Continue reading at: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/01/18/making-roe-real-all-women