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Florida

Restrictions on Low-Income Women's Access to Abortion

Florida prohibits public funding for abortion for women eligible for state medical assistance for general health care unless the procedure is necessary to preserve the life of a woman endangered by a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. Agency for Health Care Administration, Physician Services Coverage and Limitations Handbook, 2-71 (Jan. 2007), at http://portal.flmmis.com/FLPublic/Portals/0/StaticContent/Public/HANDBOOKS/CL_07_070101_MD_Services_ver1.2.pdf;  Agency for Health Care Administration, Medicaid Provider Reimbursement Handbook, UB-04, 2-46 to 2-48 (May 2007) at http://portal.flmmis.com/FLPublic/Portals/0/StaticContent/Public/HANDBOOKS/RH_08_080701_UB-04_ver1.2.pdf;  Hospital Services Coverage and Limitations Handbook, 2-3 (June 2005) at http://portal.flmmis.com/FLPublic/Portals/0/StaticContent/Public/HANDBOOKS/HospitalHB.pdf;  Medical Provider Reimbursement Handbook-CMS-1500, 2-47 to 2-49 (Feb. 2006) at http://portal.flmmis.com/FLPublic/Portals/0/StaticContent/Public/HANDBOOKS/RH_08_080701_CMS-1500_ver1.4.pdf;  Fla. Admin. Code Ann. r. 59G-4.150, -4.160, -4.230.

A court denied a request for an order stating that under the Florida Constitution, a woman eligible for state medical assistance may obtain public funds to pay for a medically necessary abortion to the same extent that funding is available for other medically necessary services generally.  Renee B. v. Florida Agency for Health Care Admin., 790 So. 2d 1036 (Fla. 2001).

Although a new lawsuit against the state's policy was filed relating to unresolved issues, a judge dismissed the case, ruling that the policy must first be reviewed by an administrative law judge for consistency with the statute.  A Choice for Women, Inc. v. Florida Agency for Health Care Admin., No. 01-CA-2439 (Fla. Cir. Ct. Apr. 4, 2002).  A case was filed before an administrative judge who later dismissed it, ruling that the regulations and provider manual do not conflict with the statute.  A Choice for Women, Inc. v. Florida Agency for Health Care Admin., No. 02-3079 RX (Fla. Div. Admin. Hearings Oct. 17, 2002) (dismissal).  A court affirmed the decision.  A Choice for Women, Inc. v. Florida Agency for Health Care Admin., No. 3D02-3039 (Fla. 3d Dist. Ct. App. Sept. 3, 2003).


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