Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Georgia high court says abortion clinics can sue state for failure to pay

Vicky Eckenrode writes for the Athens Banner-Herald:

ATLANTA - Abortion clinics can sue the state for not paying for some patients who needed the procedures for medical reasons, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday.

A group of clinics and a physician filed suit against the state Department of Community Health for not reimbursing them under the Medicaid program when poor women with health problems underwent the procedure.

The state currently will reimburse clinics for the procedure if the Medicaid-eligible patient is in danger of dying from the pregnancy or if she is the victim of rape or incest.

The clinics argued that the state also is required to cover abortions when a woman's health could be compromised by a pregnancy even if she is not in danger of dying.

The agency tried to avoid a trial by arguing that the clinics and doctors could not sue as a third party on behalf of their Medicaid-eligible patients.

The state's high court justices disagreed. Although they said that, in general, constitutional challenges are considered when individuals can show how their rights are impacted, the justices pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court has carved out exceptions for associations suing on behalf of their members.


Abortion, In the Courts, Reproductive Health & Safety, State and Local News | Permalink

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