In 1976, an action was brought against the Hyde Amendment, a law which banned the use of federal funds to reimburse the cost of abortions under Medicaid. The Court held that states were not obligated to fund medically necessary abortions under Title XIX, even though a portion of Medicaid covers indigent persons.

The all male Supreme Court found that a woman's freedom of choice did not carry with it "a constitutional entitlement to the financial resources to avail herself of the full range of protected choices."

At odds with the Hyde Amendment, intending not force lower-income women into untenable situations in which they cannot get abortions, 15 states pay for medically necessary abortions, and one pays for abortions only when necessary to protect a woman’s life.

The Court avoids

recognizing the undeniable

fact that

If abortion is medically necessary

and a funded abortion is unavailable,

poor women will die

The Court made clear that the state

interest in protecting fetal life can


jeopardizing the life or health

of the

most powerless

members of our society.

“The Court's opinion studiously avoids recognizing the undeniable fact that for women eligible for Medicaid—poor women—denial of a Medicaid-funded abortion is equivalent to denial of legal abortion altogether. By definition, these women do not have the money to pay for an abortion themselves.”