Letter to the editor: Expanding Medicaid will lower abortion rates

Staff Writer

Expanding Medicaid will lower abortion rates

I read with interest Michael Smith's editorial suggesting that the Legislature is doing it wrong if they truly want to reduce abortion rates in Kansas. He notes that contrary to popular belief that anti-abortion amendments are the answer, we instead look to the evidence.

Here is it: Abortions in the U.S. and Kansas have fallen dramatically since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented (8% decrease in the U.S. and 5% decrease in Kansas). Why? Because many more women can afford their family planning method of choice, receiving this benefit free of charge or at significantly reduced cost thanks to the ACA.

How do we know that it's family planning rather than abortion restriction that has lowered abortion rates? Because the birth rate in the U.S. and Kansas has also declined. Imagine how we might further decrease abortions among the poor by expanding coverage via Medicaid? And the benefits to women and society don't stop at fewer abortions: Use of effective family planning methods also allow women to complete school, become taxpayers and they improve maternal-child health.

Pam Martin, APRN, Topeka