Taxpayers in Maryland spend millions on abortions for “mental health”

Via Live Action News — Article text starts here

Data from the State of Maryland reveals that since 2006, taxpayer-funded Medicaid abortions in the state, committed mostly for the vague reason of the woman’s “mental health,” have increased year after year, costing taxpayers almost $48 million.

While the federal Hyde Amendment prohibits federal dollars from paying for most abortions, Medicaid dollars passed to states by the federal government can be used to pay for abortions at the state level.

Live Action News has previously shown how 17 states allow taxpayer dollars to fund abortions in excess of the Hyde Amendment’s restrictions. In addition, since money is fungible, even with Hyde in place, dollars sent to groups like Planned Parenthood can fund abortion centers and abortion staff.

According to a document published by Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the State will pay for abortions as long as the provider fills out a form that certifies:

  • continuation of the pregnancy is likely to result in the death of the woman.
  • there is substantial risk that the continuation of the pregnancy could have a serious or adverse effect on the woman’s present or physical health.
  • there exists medical evidence that continuation of the pregnancy is creating a serious effect on the woman’s present mental health, and if carried to term there is a substantial risk of a serious or long lasting effect on the woman’s future mental health.
  • this abortion is necessary because the fetus is affected by a genetic defect or serious deformity or abnormality.
  • this abortion is necessary for a victim of rape, sexual offense or incest and the incident has been reported to a law enforcement agency or to a public health or social agency.

If you review all these reasons — physical health, mental health, life of the woman, and health of the baby — you essentially have abortion on demand, as defined in Roe v. Wade and the companion case, Doe v. Bolton. However, according to the state of Maryland, women eligible for Medicaid solely due to a pregnancy do not currently qualify for a state-funded abortion.

I contacted the state of Maryland to see if they had published statistics on Medicaid funding. What I found, according to several Department of Health and Mental Hygiene documents the state provided, is the following (all the documents are available online here):

LAST THREE YEARS

Between 2014 and 2016,* the average cost of a Medicaid abortion was between $600 and $700.

In the past three years, taxpayers have been forced to spend $16.6 million for 23,395 Medicaid abortions in Maryland.

The largest portion of those procedures — 68 percent (15,979) — were performed at abortion facilities, costing taxpayers approximately $400.00 per procedure.

Maryland abortions from Medicaid

* Although the data for 2016 may not be complete, it showed that claims sent to the state as of November 2016, $5.3 million in tax dollars were spent to fund 7,812 abortions.

TAXPAYER-FUNDED ABORTIONS INCREASED EACH YEAR 

There are no requirements to report abortions in the state, however, Guttmacher (Planned Parenthood’s former “special affiliate“) estimates that in 2014, approximately 28,140 abortions were committed.  This means that 27 percent of abortions were paid for by taxpayers that year.

Maryland abortion trends according to Guttmacher

In fact, statistics for previous years indicate that as abortions have decreased in the state, taxpayer-funded abortions are increasing. See data on Medicaid abortions for 2015 and 2014, compared with data from previous years :

  • 2015: $5.7 million in tax dollars paid for 7,932 abortions.
  • 2014: $5.6 million in tax dollars paid for 7,651 abortions.
  • 2013: $5.4 million in tax dollars paid for 7,528 abortions.
  • 2012: $5.2 million in tax dollars paid for 7,442 abortions.
  • 2011: $5.4 million in tax dollars paid for  7,177 abortions.
  • 2010: $4.7 million in tax dollars paid for 6,652  abortions.
  • 2009: $3.4 million in tax dollars paid for 4,857 abortions.
  • 2008: $2.2 million in tax dollars paid for 3,281 abortions.
  • 2007: $2.2 million in tax dollars paid for 3,580 abortions.
  • 2006: $2.7 million in tax dollars paid for 3,831 abortions.

Note: Data for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 includes all Medicaid-funded abortions performed during the fiscal year, while data for fiscal year 2016 includes all abortions performed during fiscal 2016, for which a Medicaid claim was filed through November 2016. Since providers have 12 months to bill Medicaid for a service, Medicaid may receive additional claims for abortions performed during fiscal 2016. For example, during fiscal 2016, an additional 1,066 claims from fiscal 2015
were paid.

REASONS FOR ABORTIONS

Maryland abortions from Medicaid reasons Mental Health

Maryland abortions from Medicaid reasons

Out of 7,812 abortions paid for with Medicaid dollars in 2016, none were performed to save the life of the woman, according to statistical data provided by the state.

In fact, almost 100 percent of taxpayer-funded abortions (7,805) were performed because the doctor believed it would affect the woman’s “mental health,” described this way:

“Medical evidence that continuation of the pregnancy is creating a serious effect on the woman’s mental health, and if carried to term, there is a substantial risk of a serious or long-lasting effect on the woman’s future mental health.”

Of the remaining seven, three abortions were recorded because the doctor certified that there was “a substantial risk that continuation of the pregnancy could have a serious and adverse effect on the woman’s present or future physical health.”

Four abortions were due to the fact that “the fetus [was] affected by genetic defect or serious deformity or abnormality.”

Data for previous years showed similar facts.

Out of Medicaid claims received by the state for years 2008 through 2015, “mental health” of the woman appeared to be the default reason abortion doctors gave to justify the taxpayer-funded abortion.

The numbers break down as follows:

  • 2015 : 6,844 out of 6,866; none in which the life of the woman was endangered.
  • 2014 : 6,589 out of 6,609; none in which the life of the woman was endangered.
  • 2013: 6,561 out of 6,567 ; none in which the life of the woman was endangered.
  • 2012: 5,856 out of 5,861; none in which the life of the woman was endangered.
  • 2011: 6,375 out of 6,381; none in which the life of the woman was endangered.
  • 2010: 4,349 out of 4,352; none in which the life of the woman was endangered.
  • 2009: 3,404 out of 3,407 ; none in which the life of the woman was endangered.
  • 2008: 2,307 out of 2,314; none in which the life of the woman was endangered.

As previously reported, “mental health” of the mother is something that can be determined by the abortion doctor who profits from the procedure — and abortionists who work for Planned Parenthood have stated that they believe every abortion is “medically necessary.”

When the abortion industry says tax dollars will not pay for abortion, this simply is not true. The State of Maryland is just one of many examples of taxpayer funding of abortion. Another example is that of New Mexico, where undercover calls revealed several instances (listed below) in which a late-term abortion facility recommended taxpayer-funded abortions:

  • A caller who said she was 16 and claimed she was impregnated by an older family member
  • A caller who said she was pregnant with a child that had Down syndrome
  • A caller who said she was 26 weeks pregnant and there was nothing medically wrong with “the pregnancy”

 

Live Action News also published an overview on how your tax dollars fund abortions, nationally. That article noted that according to the most recently available report from the state of California’s Medi-Cal program, public funds paid for more than 83,000 abortions there.

In addition, despite abortions falling to their lowest number in 35 years of reporting in Minnesota, taxpayer funded abortions in the state increased almost 11 percent in 2015, with Planned Parenthood performing the largest portion of those procedures. In Alaska, abortions declined 5.5 percent, while taxpayer-funded abortions rose over 34 percent from 32.8 percent in 2015 to 44.1 percent in 2016. Statistics from New York show that taxpayers may be spending their hard earned dollars funding abortions on women who previously obtained one or more abortions.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD

From 2008 to 2016, the State of Maryland gave Planned Parenthood over $24 million dollars in taxpayer funds for various reasons, according to data published on Maryland’s Open Data Portal website. Earlier this year, the Maryland Senate approved a bill that would direct funds to Planned Parenthood in the event that Congress defunds the abortion corporation.

“The bill shields Planned Parenthood with $2 million from the State’s Medicaid budget,” reports CBS Baltimore, “and another $700,000 from the general fund should Republicans in Congress succeed in cutting off federal funds,” the news outlet writes.

The alarming numbers show clearly that taxpayers are, in fact, funding abortions. As Congress debates defunding Planned Parenthood, pro-lifers must push for an end to funding the abortion industry with American tax dollars at the state and federal levels.

  • This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News.

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