Pennsylvania sued over limits on state coverage of abortion


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By Marc Levy

Abortion providers are suing Pennsylvania in hopes state courts will reverse a decades-old decision upholding a ban on using state Medicaid dollars to cover abortions beyond three exceptions.

The lawsuit, filed Jan. 16, says the law violates the constitutional equal protection rights of low-income women seeking reproductive health care.

Gov. Tom Wolf's office declined comment. Wolf supports abortion rights. However, the state Legislature has voted solidly in favor of anti-abortion legislation in recent years.

A 1982 Pennsylvania law bans the use of state dollars for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. That's similar to a federal law on the use of federal Medicaid dollars. A 1985 state Supreme Court ruling upheld the state's ban.

Sixteen other states allow public dollars to cover abortions beyond those exceptions.



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