California Lawmakers Battle Over Taxpayer-Funded Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 29, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Lawmakers Battle Over Taxpayer-Funded Abortions

by Maria Gallagher Staff Writer
June 29, 2004

Sacramento, CA ( — California’s latest budget battle has included skirmishes on the issue of taxpayer-funded abortions. Some pro-life legislators say it’s time to end the West Coast state’s practice of paying for abortion through its Medi-Cal health care program.

The program has been paying for more than 90,000 abortions each year at a cost of $33 million, even though many public opinion polls confirm that taxpayers do not want their tax money to be spent on abortion.

Medi-Cal abortions are available at any time during pregnancy and for any reason. Pro-life activists say the numbers indicate that some California women are using abortion as a means of birth control. Medi-Cal paid for 3,500 "repeat" abortions in 2002.

More than 1500 Medi-Cal abortions are performed on babies 20 weeks and older. Scientific studies indicate that unborn babies at this stage can feel pain, meaning that the abortion could be physically painful for the child.

According to the California Pro-Life Council there are no requirements for adequate "informed consent" for Medi-Cal abortions. Council members believe that a number of women are undergoing abortions without knowing about the potential risks.

Also, teenagers can undergo Medi-Cal abortions without their parents being notified, even though polls indicate a majority of the public believes in parental notification.

There’s also evidence that teenagers are undergoing Medi-Cal abortions not because they are poor, but because the state is willing to protect their privacy by paying.

As a result, a number of California taxpayers have been contacting state Senators and Assembly members, asking them to support amendments to the budget eliminating or at least limiting the use of taxpayer funds for abortion.

In a written statement, the California Pro-Life Council said, "State-funded abortions are unacceptable to the taxpayers of California, deadly to the unborn, and unhealthy–even dangerous, for women."

According to the Sacramento Bee newspaper, budget negotiators have been making progress on California’s massive $103 billion budget. However, it’s unlikely Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will sign a new budget before the fiscal year begins Thursday.

Related web sites:
California Pro-Life Council –