Questions & Answers Post Roe v. Wade

By Carlos Franco — July 1, 2022

Image Copyright© Carlos Franco, 2022, 2023. All rights reserved.

Carlos is a technical and medical freelance writer who specializes in online patient education content. Copyright© 2022, 2023. All rights reserved.

Twitter: @itstechnical_cf | Glasp: @CarlosCFranco | BuyMeACoffee: @CarlosCFranco |

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (19–1392)
  • Does that mean abortion is illegal everywhere in the U.S.?
  • Anti-Abortion Laws & Bans
  • Pro-Choice Protections
  • Will insurance providers pay for abortion services?
  • Religious Objection To Abortion Services
  • Uninsured Health Care Seekers
  • Insurance Bans For Abortion Services
  • Companies With Policy Statements Responding to The Dobbs Ruling
  • Companies offering support benefits to their employees
  • Abortion Care and Reproductive Health Resources
  • Hashtags to Search on Social Media
  • References

Introduction

The recent Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson has added uncertainty and confusion to the already complex and multilayered issue of reproductive healthcare access. While the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has been expected since the draft opinion was leaked on May 2nd, 2022, many concerns about access to abortion services and other reproductive health measures remain.

The purpose of this article is to provide those who have been impacted by the recent change in federal law with clear, accurate information, and resources.

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (19–1392)

The Supreme Court summarized their June 24th Dobbs decision in the following statement:

“The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113, and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U. S. 833, are overruled; the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives (1).”

The overruling of Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), effectively ended the Constitutionally protected right for pregnant persons to choose abortion, allowing states to determine the legality and regulation of abortion through their own legislative processes.

Does that mean abortion is illegal everywhere in the U.S.?

NO. Abortion is still permitted and protected in a number of states. Below are a few bullet points taken from the Guttmacher Institute’s webpage addressing abortion policy changes.

The Guttmacher Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research and policy organization “committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) worldwide (2).”

Anti-Abortion Laws & Bans

  • 22 states have laws that could be used to restrict the legal status of abortion.
  • 7 states retain their unenforced, pre-Roe abortion bans.
  • 13 states have post-Roe laws to ban all or nearly all abortions that would be triggered if Roe were overturned.
  • 9 states have unconstitutional post-Roe restrictions that are currently blocked by courts but could be brought back into effect with a court order in Roe’s absence.
  • 7 states have laws that express the intent to restrict the right to legal abortion to the maximum extent permitted by the U.S. Supreme Court in the absence of Roe.
  • 4 states have passed a constitutional amendment explicitly declaring that their constitution does not secure or protect the right to abortion or allow use of public funds for abortion.

Pro-Choice Protections

  • 16 states and the District of Columbia have laws that protect the right to abortion.
  • 4 states and the District of Columbia have codified the right to abortion throughout pregnancy without state interference.
  • 12 states explicitly permit abortion prior to viability or when necessary to protect the life or health of the pregnant person.

The Guttmacher Institute also maintains a color-coded, interactive map that displays abortion policy information for all 50 states and ranks them from “Most Protective” to “Most Restrictive.”

View the map here: https://states.guttmacher.org/policies/alabama/abortion-policies

Will insurance providers pay for abortion services?

Currently, there are six states requiring health plans that cover maternity services to also cover abortion services (3). The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services webpage titled Know Your Rights: Reproductive Health Care, states the following:

“Most health coverage — whether you have public (e.g., Medicaid) or private health coverage (e.g., coverage through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace or through your employer) — cover family planning counseling, birth control and other preventive services at no cost to you (4).”

To find out if abortion services are covered by your insurance plan, it is best to contact your insurance provider. It is also advised to see if your plan’s coverage contains any language or restrictions on out-of-state medical care.

Religious Objection To Abortion Services

Even in states with laws protecting access to abortion services, such as Washington State, which has the Reproductive Parity Act that requires “all health plans that cover maternity care to also cover abortion services (3);” there are some religious exemptions that can complicate access to abortion services.

On the Washington State Department of Health website, on the page titled, Increasing Access to Reproductive Choice, you can see an example of this type of complication.

“Providence Health Plans invoked a religious objection and do not cover most abortion-related services… [The Washington Department of Health] will pay for your abortion services if you have Providence Health Plan coverage that originates in Washington State and receive services from a provider who agrees to accept reimbursement from us (5).”

Uninsured Health Care Seekers

Another barrier to accessing abortion services is a lack of insurance to cover the costs. The majority of Americans obtain their healthcare through employer-based insurance, which alleviates some of the financial burdens. Those who do not have insurance through their employer or who are unemployed must cover the cost out of their own pockets or find alternative resources.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) offers the following on their webpage titled, Know Your Rights: Reproductive Health Care:

If You Do Not Have Health Insurance Coverage (4)

Go to healthcare.gov and see if you qualify for coverage.

Title X Family Planning Clinics provide a broad range of family planning services and provide preventive health services that benefit reproductive health, such as STI and HIV testing, HIV counseling, and HPV vaccines. Find a Title X Family Planning Clinic near you.

Health centers are community-based organizations that deliver comprehensive, culturally competent, high-quality primary health care services, regardless of patients’ ability to pay, and charge for services on a sliding fee scale. Find a health center near you.

The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program helps low-income people with HIV receive medical care, medications, and essential support services to help them stay in care. Find how to get HIV care and services through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program near you.

Insurance Bans For Abortion Services

The overruling of Roe v. Wade now underscores a battle for abortion access that has been taking shape since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, PPACA, ObamaCare). The American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) webpage titled, Bans on Insurance Coverage of Abortion, talks about this point in more detail by stating:

“In several states, lawmakers are singling out abortion and prohibiting insurance companies from including abortion coverage in their policies. The trend is fast-moving and startling: overall, 10 states passed bans on abortion coverage and 25 banned coverage in their exchanges… Several states already prevent insurance companies from offering abortion coverage. And for years, laws have severely curtailed coverage for people insured through state or federal programs, including low-income women, public employees, military families, Peace Corps volunteers, and Native Americans (6).”

Companies With Policy Statements Responding to The Dobbs Ruling

Many businesses have provided an update on their reproductive health benefits for employees living in areas impacted by the ruling. Some of the updates were broadcast through social media, others through official company statements. The table below lists some of the companies that have made public statements concerning travel reimbursement or other practical support in response to the Dobbs ruling. This list is not complete because the situation is constantly evolving.

Companies offering support benefits to their employees

Table created from a composite of resources (7 8 9 10)

A photo of a data table displaying the names of businesses offering financial and practical support for employees impacted by the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling.

*Reuters appears to be maintaining a running list of companies that are following suit, which can be found here:

Abortion Care and Reproductive Health Resources

  • Abortion Finder .Org (https://www.abortionfinder.org/): Created to provide clear, up-to-date information about the availability of abortion care across the country. Abortion Finder is operated by Bedsider, a project of Power to Decide.
  • All-Options .Org (https://www.all-options.org/): All-Options (formerly Backline) uses direct service and social change strategies to promote unconditional, judgment-free support for people in all of their decisions, feelings, and experiences with pregnancy, parenting, abortion, and adoption.
  • Apiary Practical Support .Org (https://apiaryps.org/pso-list): We are a hub for organizations that provide practical support to pool resources, knowledge, and create community. If you are an abortion seeker who needs support accessing abortion care, you can find your local practical support group and contact them directly.
  • Connect & Breathe Talkline (https://www.connectandbreathe.org/): Connect & Breathe creates a safe space to talk about abortion experiences by offering a talkline staffed by people trained to listen and provide unbiased support and encouragement of self-care.
  • DOPO Co-op (https://www.wearedopo.com/): We’re an international reproductive justice co-operative on a mission to provide holistic, stigma-free abortion care and education in our communities.
  • Exhale ProVoice .Org (https://exhaleprovoice.org/): Exhale Pro-Voice is the premier organization supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of people after their abortions and their loved ones. Founded in 2000 by and for people who have had abortions, we provide — and train others in providing — nonjudgmental after-abortion support.
  • Health and Human Services (HHS) (https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2022/06/25/know-your-rights-reproductive-health-care.html): The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is committed to providing you with accurate and up-to-date information about access to and coverage of reproductive health care and resources.
  • Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) (https://data.hrsa.gov/): HRSA programs provide health care to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable.
  • I Need An A (ineedana.org): Our goal is to provide a simple, up-to-date, and localized source of information for people seeking abortions.
  • Medicaid (Medical Assistance) (http://www.medicaid.gov/): Provides health coverage to low-income people and is one of the largest payers for health care in the United States.
  • Miscarriage + Abortion Hotline (https://www.mahotline.org/): We’re a team dedicated to you. We are pro-abortion clinicians with years of experience in caring for miscarriage and abortion.
  • National Abortion Federation (https://prochoice.org/): The mission of the National Abortion Federation is to unite, represent, serve, and support abortion providers in delivering patient-centered, evidence-based care.
  • National Network of Abortion Funds (https://abortionfunds.org/): The National Network of Abortion Funds builds power with members to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access by centering people who have abortions and organizing at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive justice.
  • Office of Population Affairs (OASH) (https://opa-fpclinicdb.hhs.gov/): For more than 50 years, Title X family planning clinics have played a critical role in ensuring access to a broad range of family planning and preventive health services.
  • Plan C Pills (https://www.plancpills.org/find-pills): Plan C provides up-to-date information on how people in the U.S. are accessing at-home abortion pill options online.
  • Planned Parenthood (https://www.plannedparenthood.org/): Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide.
  • Repro Care (https://reprocare.com/): Reprocare is a reproductive justice organization with the goal of supporting and normalizing abortion care at home.
  • Repro Legal Helpline (https://www.reprolegalhelpline.org/): Repro Legal Helpline is run by If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, a non-profit organization made up of advocates, organizers, and lawyers helping to build a future where everyone is free to make their own decisions about their bodies and reproductive lives.
  • Reproductive Rights .Gov (https://reproductiverights.gov/): Reproductive health care, including access to birth control and safe and legal abortion care, is an essential part of your health and well-being.

Hashtags to Search on Social Media

#Abortion #AbortionCare #AbortionInformation #AbortionServices #DobbsvJackson #FamilyPlanning #Healthcare #Healthinsurance #HumanRights #ProChoice #RightToChoose #RoevWade #ReproductiveHealth #ReproductiveRights #WomansRights

References

See a list of the key highlights from the sources consulted and cited in this article on Glasp using the following link; or by searching the tag: #H1 Question of Insurance from the search bar on Glasp’s landing page.

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Carlos Franco

Freelance technical writer with an advanced degree and 10+ years of experience in patient education.