Abortion workers coached women to lie about being raped so their abortions would be covered by Medicaid

In her memoir, former abortion worker Andrea Abrams (who is pro-choice) describes how, after Medicaid regulations were changed, abortion workers coached pregnant women to falsely claim they were raped in order to get their abortions covered:

“The counselors were informed of the new regulations and laws…

Although everybody was careful not to say it openly, it was instantly apparent that the counselor could tell women about the Medicaid restrictions in a way that would suggest to the woman that she could claim to have been raped, thereby qualifying for medical assistance coverage.

There was no reporting requirement attached to the law at the time. So, when counseling, I could say, “Medical assistance will only pay for abortions that are the result of rape or incest,” and let the woman decide how to proceed from there.

I spoke with one or two women who immediately said that they had been raped. Others were not as quick to pick up the possibility, or too honest to do so.

I was facing a dilemma. Prior to my work volunteering at Blackwell, I had been a volunteer counselor at the Philadelphia rape crisis center, Women Organized against Rape, and was still active there.

At WOAR, it was a core belief that women did not lie about being raped. In fact, the vast majority of rapes were, and still are, not reported. A woman who did report a rape was, in all probability, telling the truth. But I did not feel like I could counsel women, even indirectly, to say that rape was the cause of their pregnancy if it had not been.

However, I understood the position of women on medical assistance, who were no longer able to use it to pay for an abortion except by making this desperate claim…

I decided that it was time to stop doing pregnancy and abortion counseling. I could not handle the Medicaid dilemma, and felt that stopping altogether was one way to avoid it. I said goodbye regretfully to the other counselors, the volunteer coordinator, the doctors, nurses, and staff.”

Andrea Abrams Bearing Children: A Memoir of Choices (2019) 27, 28

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Author: Sarah

Sarah Terzo is a pro-life writer and blogger. She is on the board of The Consistent Life Network and PLAGAL +

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