Georgia Abortion Advocates Appear in Court For Tax-Funded Abortions
by Steven Ertelt
December 16, 2003
Atlanta, GA (LifeNews.com) — Abortion advocates in Georgia appeared in court today to argue for the state to fund so-called medically necessary abortions for poor women.
Attorneys representing the Feminist Women’s Health Center abortion facility, Planned Parenthood of Georgia and abortion businesses around the state oppose current Georgia law that restricts abortions funded with tax dollars to women whose pregnancies endanger their lives or result from rape, incest.
That pro-life law has helped the state avoid paying for approximately 8,000 abortions each year at a cost of $5.1 million.
The abortion businesses want the law enjoined while their trial proceeds.
Louise Melling, an ACLU attorney, claimed women’s lives would be in danger unless an injunction is in place and they are allowed to have taxpayer-funded abortions.
Assistant Attorney General Mark Cicero disagreed saying there is no proof of an emergency pointing to the need to disable the law while the case moves forward.
Cicero said the court should deny standing to the abortion businesses because no women actually affected by the law are a part of their lawsuit. He said third-party standing in Georgia is not allowed.
Melling said a Supreme Court case allowing physicians to sue on behalf of their patients authorized the abortion businesses to sue on behalf of women denied abortion funding.
Judge Gino Brogdon of the Fulton County Superior Court said he will rule on the injunction next week.
Pro-life groups say that the term "medically necessary abortions" is just another way of saying "abortion on demand."
They note that an abortion can threaten not only a woman’s health but also a woman’s life. A woman who undergoes an abortion runs the risk of experiencing a perforated uterus, sterility, and depression.
Medical studies have also established a connection between abortion and breast cancer.
"We know of many healthy babies born in Georgia to mothers who were treated for serious medical problems during their pregnancy," said Caryl Swift, president of Georgia Right to Life. "Any woman with a health concern needs a compassionate doctor to provide appropriate care for her.
The ACLU claims that denial of Medicaid coverage for "medically necessary" abortions threatens women’s health and violates their rights. Medicaid is the government-funded health insurance program for the poor.
"Just because a woman has the right to have … an abortion does not mean that the government has to pay for it," Georgia Right to Life’s Swift said. "The people of Georgia do not want to pay for abortions."
Cicero also argued that a temporary injunction would cost the state money that would not be federally reimbursed.
Sixteen states fund so-called medically necessary abortions while the federal government has prohibited virtually all abortion funding since the 1970s through the Hyde amendment and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law in 1980.
Related web sites:
Georgia Right to Life – https://www.grtl.org