Live Action has exposed the fact that taxpayers are, indeed, funding abortion, despite contrary claims from Planned Parenthood and its supporters. In recent articles, Live Action News demonstrated to readers how government dollars given to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood can fund abortion-related services, facilities and staff. The process of fungibility was also explained in a Live Action video:
Previous Live Action News articles have shown how taxpayer dollars actually do fund abortions. According to the most recently available report from the state of California’s Medi-Cal program, public funds paid for more than 83,000 abortions in the state in 2014.
What about other states? In Minnesota, abortions have fallen to their lowest number in 35 years of reporting — but in 2015, taxpayer-funded abortions in the state increased almost 11 percent, with Planned Parenthood committing the largest portion of those procedures.
In Alaska, the Department of Health and Social Services Bureau of Vital Statistics shows that while abortions in that state declined 5.5 percent from 2015 to 2016, tax funded abortions rose over 34 percent from 32.8 percent to 44.1 percent.
And now, we have information about taxpayer-funded abortions in New Mexico.
If you want to know where to get a taxpayer-funded abortion, look no further than an abortion facility’s website. Abortion is a business, which is why facilities publish all possible ways they can be paid for the services they offer — so I did some research by checking out the website for Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO), one of the busiest abortion facilities in the state.
Southwestern Women’s Options is one of several centers that will kill a preborn baby through all nine months of pregnancy. As you see in the screen below, the facility website states: “New Mexico Medicaid covers medically necessary abortion procedures.”
So, what does “medically necessary” mean? As I described previously, to abortionists at an abortion business like Planned Parenthood, it means any and all abortions. Why should Southwestern Women’s Options, a notorious late-term abortion facility, think any differently?
Undercover calls made to SWO reveal that not only will the late term abortion facility bill abortions to the taxpayer, they will do it even if the person needing the procedure is a minor impregnated by an older relative. The caller in the video below tells a staff member at SWO that she is under 18 years old and later states that she is 16.
Asked how far along into the pregnancy she is, the caller states, “Um, I’m 26 weeks.”
The staff member finds out that the caller has no insurance — not even “New Mexico Medicaid,” according to the recording.
The caller is quoted a fee of $7,500 and is offered a 20 percent discount for assistance, leaving her with $6,000 to pay.
Caller: “If I had Medicaid, would that cover it?”
Abortion Clinic: “Yes.”
Caller: “Could I get Medicaid without my parents knowing?”
Clinic: “Um–there is uh–what’s called emergency pregnancy Medicaid… so you could try that…”
In yet another call, the investigator tells the facility that she is “about 26 weeks” and that there’s nothing medically wrong with “the pregnancy.”
She is then asked by the staff member if she has “insurance or Medicaid.”
Caller: “I do have the pregnancy Medicaid.”
Clinic:” So, if we would start this… next week… well actually Medicaid covers the abortion in the state of New Mexico…”
Caller: “How much is it? I’m just curious.”
Clinic: “Well, you are probably looking at a range from anywhere $8 to $9,000…”
According to the most recent published data from the New Mexico Department of Health for 2014, there were 3,347 abortions recorded by the state for that year, a slight increase of 2 percent from the 2013 numbers. By 2016, the Albuquerque Journal reported that New Mexico abortions had decreased 24 percent since 2010.
But those statistics may not paint the full picture.
According to the state, 2014 numbers only reflected abortions performed on New Mexico residents. Because of the state’s liberal laws regarding late-term abortions, women travel to New Mexico from other states to obtain abortions — and these statistics may not reflect the numbers of those women.
According to the Albuquerque Journal:
Abortions among New Mexico residents, especially women ages 19 and younger, are down dramatically since 2010, but the number of out-of-state women coming here for abortions has doubled in the past three years, according to newly compiled state data.
Nearly 20 percent of the roughly 4,500 abortions performed in New Mexico in 2014 involved women from out of state, according to state Department of Health data.
Tax dollars going directly into the pockets of abortion facilities is evidenced by another undercover call between a pro-life investigator and Southwestern Women’s Options, in which the caller tells the staff member she has New Mexico Medicaid and is approximately 30 weeks pregnant with a baby who has Down syndrome.
The SWO staffer, “Molly,” confirms that the facility would be able to do the three- to four-day procedure and bill the abortion to the taxpayer, via Medicaid.
The caller then asks “Molly” how much the procedure would cost as a self-pay, rather than Medicaid paid.
Clinic: “Out of pocket its anywhere from – it’s kind of – you’re looking at a range in between $10,000 and $16,000, somewhere around there…”
Caller: “But Medicaid does cover it 100 percent,right?”
Clinic: “Yes. Yes.”
A report published by Operation Rescue revealed that “in 2011, New Mexico taxpayers paid for 1,786 abortions, which amounted to $1,127,557.26.”
By 2012, data provided by the group Pro-life ABQ showed that the state had funded a total of 649 abortions (598 of which were late-term), costing taxpayers $177,361.32. (See a chart provided by Project Defending Life here.)
More recent data, provided by the pro-life group Pro-life ABQ to Operation Rescue, shows that by 2013, “811 abortions were billed to the state, costing taxpayers $160,007.51.”
Protest ABQ reported that by 2014, “$241,989.69 of tax dollars were used to pay for abortions in New Mexico.” The article does not estimate how many abortions that would have been.
OR’s article goes on to state that “[t]he largest portion of these abortions” was done at Southwestern Women’s Options:
SWO employs Susan Robinson and Shelley Sella, who reside in California; their net income in 2013 from New Mexico Medicaid was $74,770.78 for performing 335 abortions.
The University of New Mexico performed 126 Medicaid funded abortions in 2013, which cost taxpayers $24,729.65.
According to a statement given by Abortion Free New Mexico, in 2015, New Mexico taxpayers spent $210,628.08 on abortions. (Tara Shaver, the group’s spokesperson, provided Live Action News with the 2015 taxpayer-funded abortion data obtained from the New Mexico State Human Services Department through an Inspection of Public Records Act request in March 2017.)
While the federal Hyde Amendment puts limits on taxpayer-funded abortions for only very specific reasons, states can use Medicaid dollars to pay for abortions however they choose.
The U.S. Senate is nearing its debate on defunding Planned Parenthood, the largest chain of abortion facilities in the country, which receives over $554 million state and federal tax dollars annually. Lawmakers should protect taxpayers from becoming complicit in over 320,000 abortions each year — by voting to defund Planned Parenthood permanently.
Contact your U.S. and state lawmakers to encourage them to reroute funding from Planned Parenthood to community health centers, and to urge them to stop funding abortions with taxpayer dollars.