In recognition of what would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the National Health Law Program is reflecting on what it means to talk about and protect abortion in this new legal landscape. We know that the current abortion access crisis did not start with the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, as millions of people lacked affordable access to abortion prior to last summer’s devastating ruling. But the anniversary of Roe provides an opportunity to center discussions of how to rebuild an equitable abortion access landscape, one that reflects the fact that abortion is health care that should be affordable, available, and accessible to anyone who needs it.
“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate the constitutional right to abortion was a devastating blow for sexual and reproductive health care,” says Cat Duffy, Policy Analyst at the National Health Law Program. “However, the National Health Law Program remains undefeated and will continue our fight to protect and expand abortion access. We are inspired by the work being achieved at the state level to improve equitable abortion access through robust insurance coverage of abortion in private and public health care plans. While protecting the legality of abortion is vital, having the legal right means very little if people have no means of actually accessing abortion services. We will continue to advocate for comprehensive insurance coverage as a crucial component of our efforts to ensure that all people can access abortion, no matter how much money they make.”
“For over 50 years, the National Health Law Program has advocated for access to quality health care for individuals and communities with the fewest resources and least political clout. And we affirm that abortion is health care,” said Elizabeth G. Taylor, Executive Director of the National Health Law Program. “We will continue to fight to ensure that abortion care is accessible for everyone who needs it, regardless of income, race, disability, or zip code.”
Against this shifting legal reality, telehealth can play an increasingly important role in combating the escalating abortion access challenges. In the following report, Cat Duffy examines the Medicaid telehealth medication abortion (TMAB) coverage policies in six key states (Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Oregon) as case studies for understanding how the Medicaid telehealth coverage landscape has changed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
About the Report:
This report examines the Medicaid telehealth medication abortion (TMAB) policies in six key states as case studies for understanding how the landscape has changed and hopefully improved in the wake of the revolution in telehealth caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Overview and background on key policies and issues pertaining to medication abortion and telehealth policy
- Explanation of our methodology in choosing our case studies: Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, and Oregon
- Analysis of the significant trends in Medicaid TMAB coverage
- General recommendations states could pursue to improve Medicaid TMAB access
- Discussion of Medicaid TMAB coverage as a health equity issue in the post-Dobbs world
About Cat Duffy:
Cat Duffy, PhD, is a Policy Analyst in the National Health Law Program Washington, DC office. She works on reproductive and sexual health care access and services, with a particular focus on abortion coverage and access. Previously, Cat was a State Policy Manager at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, where she worked on issues including abortion, telehealth, sex education, and gender-affirming health care access.