Does insurance coverage increase abortion rate? The 'Romneycare' precedent
August 27, 2012
As American politicians debate whether the "Obamacare" health plan will increase the rate of abortion, analysts turn to the record in Massachusetts, where coverage of abortion (ironically introduced during the tenure of Governor Mitt Romney, now President Obama's Republican challenger) has not produced that effect.
In fact, the best available statistics show a decline in the Massachusetts abortion rate following the introduction of "Romneycare." However that trend cannot be attributed to the legislation. Abortion rates had been falling steadily in Massachusetts since 1991; the decrease in 2006-2010 was in line with that longer trend.
Moreover, Massachusetts provides a special case because since 1981, under the terms of a state court decision, anyone receiving Medicaid assistance was already entitled to a taxpayer-subsidized abortion.
The study does not, of course, account for non-surgical abortions--that is, abortions caused by pills.