Arizona Seeks to Revive Medicaid Funds Ban for Abortion

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer asked a federal appeals court to uphold a state law barring health care providers who perform abortions from receiving Medicaid funds.

State lawyers are seeking to reverse a U.S. judge’s ruling that the law violates federal Medicaid’s guarantee that patients can choose their own doctor by excluding otherwise qualified physicians from participation in the state’s Medicaid program.

The Arizona law prohibits Medicaid funding for health-care providers who perform abortions except when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest or threatens the health or life of the mother. The measure, which had been scheduled to take effect in August, was challenged by Planned Parenthood Arizona.

U.S. District Judge Neil Wake in Phoenix issued an order in February permanently blocking the law from taking effect.

The case is Planned Parenthood Arizona Inc. v. Betlach, 12-17558, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (San Francisco).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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