Page 12-Tuesday, February 12, 1980-The Michigan Daily
U.S. officials link four deaths
to Medicaid abortion cutoff
WASHINGTON (AP) - At least four
poor women have died as a result of the
cutoff of practically all federal funds
for Medicaid abortions, according to
U.S. medical investigators.
Investigators for the federal Center
for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta
said they have identified eight other
deaths resulting from illegal or self-
induced abortions that could not be
linked to the termination of federal
financing of abortions. Two of the eight
were teenagers who were afraid to tell
their parents they were pregnant.
MEMBERS OF the CDC abortion
surveillance team said a common ef-
fect of the cutoff of federal funds in
August 1977 has been a delay in poor
women obtaining abortions, increasing
the risk of complications.
They also saw indications that some
poor women who would have had
government-assisted abortions are
having their babies instead.
CDC physicians said they at first ex-
pected to find many more deaths direc-
tly or indirectly linked to the cutoff of
funds under Congress' Hyde Amen-
dment, which restricts federal payment
for abortions to cases where the
mother's life is, in danger or the
pregnancy results from rape or incest.
THE DOCTORS expressed confiden-
ce in their count, however, although
they acknowledged it may not be up to
The figures are lower than an-
ticipated, they said, because the vast
majority of women who would have
received federally assisted abortions
live in states that continue to pay for the
A federal judge has ordered U.S.
authorities to resume abortion funding
on the Bake faith
EVERY THURS. THRU FEB. 28
ba s'i Center, 512 Packard St.
on Friday. The Carter administration
plans to appeal his ruling to the
THE JUDGE, John Dooling Jr. 4
Brooklyn, found, in part, that the Hyde
Amendment increased the risk of
maternal deaths and caused some
women to seek illegal abortions. He
cited no cases, but 'CDC investigators
said they had identified the following
. Rosie Jimeniz, 27, whose death in
Texas in 1977 after an illegal abortion
performed by a midwife has been
widely publicized as the first know
fatality resulting from the Hyde Amen-
" A 21-year-old Louisiana woman
who was eligible for health care under
the Medicaid program for the poor, but
who would not have been eligible for
abortion funding because Louisiana
stopped paying for abortions followingt
the federal fund cutoff.
Dr. Julian Gold, a member of the
CDC's abortion surveillance team who
investigated the case, said the woma
inserted three cotton swabs into he
uterus in an attempt to induce an abor-
tion because she had only $10 in the
bank and the abortion clinic three
blocks from her home charged $150. She
died of a massive infection.
" A 34-year-old Florida woman who
had had medical problems during
earlier pregnancies. She put off having
an abortion while she tried to find a
facility that would sterilize her at th
same time. She had a medicaid numb
and apparently believed Medicaid
would pay for her hospitalization if she
were sterilized, even if it wouldn't pay
for a simple abortion.
She then contracted pneumonia,
which further delayed the procedure,
and she died during a legally performed
abortion and sterilization that was
complicated by the month-long delay.
" A 37-year-old welfare mother in
Georgia who already had six children
and had told physicians and a soci4
worker she would attempt to induce
labor if they refused to help her. One
clinic rejected her, citing the Hyde
Amendment; another said she was too
far advanced in pregnancy and would
An investigation later indicated she
had not been too far advanced for a
simple outpatient procedure and had
the money to pay for one. However, she
returned home and after consulting
physician about a surgical sterilization
attempted to induce labor with a glass
thermometer. She died of a blood clot
that lodged in her lung.
Tickets are 8.00 and 9.00 and are on sale now at the Michigan
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