Quick hit: Anti-choicers split on Medicaid expansion


Anti-choice organizations seem to be split on their support of the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, which expands access to health care for the poorest Americans. Putting aside that abortion care actually is health care (despite the highly unjust restriction on federal funding of abortion care), it seems that the more extreme anti-choice organizations in particular are not very excited about expanding general access to health care for the poor.

Citing Paula Westwood, the executive director for Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati, Irin Carmon writes:

So why oppose more poor people getting health insurance coverage? “What Medicaid expansion will do is place thousands of people on the rolls that are able-bodied, primarily men, and that opens up a whole another can of worms for disincentives for work and healthy lifestyles for these people,” said Westwood. She pointed out that Ohio’s Medicaid program automatically enrolls pregnant women who meet the income requirements, as well as their children until age 18. For low-income mothers themselves, that coverage currently ends a few weeks after giving birth.

As an example of how the program would change if Medicaid were expanded, Westwood cited a restaurant worker without employer-provided insurance being covered on Medicaid. Wasn’t that person already working? “I’m not going to get into specifics. I’m not trying to go after restaurant workers,” said Westwood.


The Cincinnati anti-choice organization profiled in this story, which is opposing Medicaid expansion, also opposes contraception. The Ohio anti-choice organization profiled which does not take a position on contraception, however, does support Medicaid expansion in their state.


1bfea3e7449eff65a94e2e55a8b7acda-bpfullVeronica is an immigrant queer writer, domestic artist, and music video enthusiast.

New York, NY

Verónica Bayetti Flores has spent the last years of her life living and breathing reproductive justice. She has led national policy and movement building work on the intersections of immigrants' rights, health care access, young parenthood, and LGBTQ liberation, and has worked to increase access to contraception and abortion, fought for paid sick leave, and demanded access to safe public space for queer youth of color. In 2008 Verónica obtained her Master’s degree in the Sexuality and Health program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She loves cooking, making art, listening to music, and thinking about the ways art forms traditionally seen as feminine are valued and devalued. In addition to writing for Feministing, she is currently spending most of her time doing policy work to reduce the harms of LGBTQ youth of color's interactions with the police and making sure abortion care is accessible to all regardless of their income.

Verónica is a queer immigrant writer, activist, and rabble-rouser.

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