Georgia Supreme Court Hears Case on Ban on Taxpayer-Funded Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 8, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Georgia Supreme Court Hears Case on Ban on Taxpayer-Funded Abortions Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 8
, 2007

Atlanta, GA ( — The Georgia Supreme Court heard a case earlier this week challenging the state’s ban on using taxpayer funds to pay for abortions. Georgia currently only allows payment for abortions in extremely rare cases when the pregnancy may directly threaten the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest.

As a result, some 95 to 98 percent of abortions do not quality for state Medicaid funds.

However, several abortion businesses sues the state, along with the ACLU, which is representing an unnamed women who wanted a tax-funded abortion. They claim denying the women publicly funded abortions violates women’s rights and endangers women’s health, even though the abortion itself is dangerous for women.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Gino Brogdon ruled in December 2003 for the state saying that Georgia Medicaid is not required to cover abortions outside those rare cases.

Later on, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Christopher Brasher in December 2006 dismissed the lawsuit because the woman in question didn’t first bring her case before the Georgia Department of Community Health, which rules whether abortions can qualify under the limited circumstances. Abortion advocates appealed the decision.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper, the woman got an abortion first and then decided to file the lawsuit.

The newspaper indicated the woman suffers from paralysis, spina bifida and kidney problems but still decided to get pregnant. After consulting with her doctor, he advised her to have an abortion saying that continuing the pregnancy with her conditions would be difficult.

State Assistant Attorney General Michelle Townes told the newspaper the woman may have qualified to have her abortion paid for because any kidney failure during the pregnancy could have been fatal.

Louise Melling of the ACLU said that requiring the woman to go before the panel before having the abortion is a violation of her rights and the pro-abortion law firm wants the Georgia high court to return the case to the county court for a decision.

There’s no word on when the state Supreme Court will issue a ruling.