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Restrictions on Low-Income Women's Access to Abortion

Louisiana prohibits public funding for abortion for women eligible for state medical assistance for general health care unless the procedure is necessary to preserve her life or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest reported to a law enforcement official unless her physician certifies that she is too incapacitated to report the crime.  La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 40:1299.34.5 (Enacted 1978; Last Amended 1994), .35.7 (Enacted 1994; Last Amended 2005); Medicaid of Louisiana, 2007 Professional Services Provider Training, 5 (Fall 2007) 20Training_20Packet.pdf.  See Hope Med. Group for Women v. Edwards, 63 F.3d 418 (5th Cir. 1995), cert denied, 517 U.S. 1104 (1996) (holding that a previous Louisiana statute that prohibited the state Medicaid program from funding abortion except in cases of life endangerment conflicted with federal law requiring participating states to provide a broad scope of medical services, including those not typically associated with life and death situations).

The statute also provides that if the federal requirement that the state fund abortion under Medicaid in cases of rape and incest no longer applies, no public funds may be used for abortion except in cases of life endangerment.  La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 40:1299.34.5 (Enacted 1978; Last Amended 1994).

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