High court urged to reject Colorado appeal of finding that it must fund rape and incest survivors' abortions.

  • Published 1995 in Reproductive freedom news


On November 3, 1995, women's health care providers asked the US Supreme Court to deny review in Weil v. Hern, Colorado's appeal of lower court rulings that prevent the state from refusing Medicaid coverage for abortions for rape and incest survivors. Colorado's petition for certiorari, docketed on October 31, 1995, is the first in a series of recent lawsuits concerning state obligations to fund abortions to reach the Supreme Court. In May 1994, a federal district court held that a Colorado constitutional provision banning public funding for abortions not necessary to save a woman's life impermissibly conflicts with the Hyde Amendment to the federal Medicaid budget, which also covers abortions in cases of rape and incest. The court issued a permanent injunction barring the state from enforcing Article V Section 50 in a manner inconsistent with the Hyde Amendment so long as Colorado accepts federal Medicaid dollars. In June 1995, the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed that decision, becoming the first of four federal appellate courts to rule this year (1995) on a state's duty under the Hyde Amendment and federal Medicaid law. Three additional appeals courts (the Third, Fifth, and Eighth circuits) have since upheld findings by lower courts in Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania that those states cannot impose abortion funding limits more restrictive than the Hyde Amendment. Federal district courts in 13 states (Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Utah) have held that states participating in the Medicaid program must at least cover those abortions for which federal matching funds are available.

Cite this paper

@article{1995HighCU, title={High court urged to reject Colorado appeal of finding that it must fund rape and incest survivors' abortions.}, author={}, journal={Reproductive freedom news}, year={1995}, volume={4 20}, pages={2} }