'Nearly Allied to Her Right to Be' - Medicaid Funding for Abortion: The Story of Harris v. McRae

WOMENS & THE LAW STORIES, pp. 207, Elizabeth M. Schneider, Stephanie M. Wildman, eds., Foundation Press, 2011

39 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2012  

Rhonda Copelon

City University of New York

Sylvia Ann Law

New York University School of Law

Date Written: October 15, 2010

Abstract

This paper, published as the sixth chapter of Women and the Law Stories tells the story of Harris v. McRae, the 1980 Supreme Court decision upholding the Hyde Amendment’s exclusion of coverage for medically necessary abortions from the otherwise comprehensive Medicaid program. Decided in the context of a growing, religiously-impelled mobilization against abortion and funding, this decision not only gutted the right to abortion for poor women, but it also undermined fundamental constitutional principles. Furthermore, the decision set the stage for restrictive approaches to constitutional protection of fundamental rights affecting the poor, reproductive rights, and previously assumed rights more broadly. As we write almost thirty years later, the Hyde Amendment and the McRae decision remain unchallenged obstacles to comprehensive health care for poor women and to recognition of their full citizenship.

Keywords: Harris v. Mcrae, abortion, Medicaid, Roe v. Wade

Suggested Citation

Copelon, Rhonda and Law, Sylvia Ann, 'Nearly Allied to Her Right to Be' - Medicaid Funding for Abortion: The Story of Harris v. McRae (October 15, 2010). WOMENS & THE LAW STORIES, pp. 207, Elizabeth M. Schneider, Stephanie M. Wildman, eds., Foundation Press, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2178231

Rhonda Copelon

City University of New York ( email )

2 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11101
United States

Sylvia Ann Law (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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