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Abortion Access of Women Prisoners is Limited by Varying Policies - Part 1

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Women in prison who want to have an abortion face several obstacles. Among these hurdles are "facilities'ad hoc responses to abortion requests", the difficulties involved in transportation or financial arrangements, and the requirement of getting a court order.

This is all according to Carolyn B. Sufrin et al., in the article titled "Incarcerated Women and Abortion Provision: A Survey of Correctional Health Providers", which was published in the March 2009 issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.

In a survey of health professionals who work in prisons, 68% of those responding said that the inmates in their facility can get "elective" abortions. Among this same group 88% said that their facility provides transportation, and only 54% said that they help to arrange appointments. The remainder said that women have to schedule appointments without any help from the health professionals.

This study showed that prisons in states with a Republican dominated legislature or with a Medicaid program that greatly restricted coverage for abortion "were more likely to have limited access to abortion services than were those whose state had a predominantly Deomocratic legislature or a Medicaid program that covered all or most medically necessary abortions." The authors suggest that prisons should make strides to provide quality healthcare to all inmates.

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