WAMU 88.5 : News

Local Medicaid Money Pulled Early From D.C. Abortion Funding

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While the funding freeze was expected, the group says the immediacy of the timing was not -- and workers are scrambling to find funding for women with appointments this week.

Kate Vlach sits on the board of the D.C. Abortion Fund. During congressional budget negotiations, it was clear that local Medicaid dollars in the District of Columbia would no longer be used for abortion care.

Vlach says she was caught off guard, however, when the funding cut-off came early.

"We're particularly concerned in the near-term about women who thought that they would be able to receive care within the next day or two and are being alerted with less than 24 hours notice that they have to scramble to fundraise as much as $6-, $7- or $800," she says.

Vlach says at least 28 women in the District had appointments scheduled Thursday and more were supposed to be seen Friday and Saturday.

"Each of these women knows what's best for them, and if we can help her make a choice that works best for her life, we should do whatever we can to do that," says Vlach.

DCAF is trying to put together funding to help the women scheduled in the near future. She says some area clinics are seeing patients and allowing DCAF to pay them at a later time.

TBD reports that extra funds have been sent to the D.C. organization since news of the cut got out.

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