Ask Amy: How is it possible to obtain a free abortion?


If you are above the Medicaid poverty level, how is it possible to obtain a free abortion?


Maggie —

Obtaining a taxpayer-funded abortion in Illinois is incredibly simple whether you’re an Illinois resident or not. Why? Illinois’s incredibly lax Medicaid Presumptive Eligibility program.

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services website states:

The Medicaid Presumptive Eligibility (MPE) program is for pregnant women. Under MPE, pregnant women can get immediate outpatient services for a limited time. Eligibility for the program is based on a medically verified pregnancy and the pregnant woman’s statement of her family’s gross monthly income.

Simply put, the only requirement for a pregnant woman to receive free healthcare – which now dubiously includes abortion – is for her to state that she is below the Medicaid poverty level. Verification is not required until much later and, as one would expect, many women don’t take the necessary steps to verify their eligibility after they have already received their free procedures. Therefore, despite the fact that abortion advocates claim this is not the case, practically anyone can receive a taxpayer-funded abortion in Illinois. 

Medicaid funding of abortion expanded in Illinois as a result of HB 40, signed into law by then-Governor Bruce Rauner in 2017. This was a huge boon to the abortion industry in Illinois. 2018, the first year HB 40 was in effect, taxpayer-funded abortions jumped by 1,758 percent compared to the same time period in 2017.

Such taxpayer funding of abortion is unpopular among a majority of Americans, as well. The annual Marist poll released each January regularly shows that over 50 percent of Americans oppose having their tax dollars used to fund abortion. This held true in the 2022 poll released last month. Other polling reveals similar attitudes towards taxpayer funding of abortion.

HB 40 and the resulting lax Medicaid Presumptive Eligibility program are just more examples of how Illinois abortion law is completely out of step with what a majority of Americans believe. Even worse, of course, this is another example of Illinois law that is deadly to the thousands of preborn babies killed in abortion each year and incredibly damaging for their mothers.

Illinois Right to Life is dedicated to educating the people of Illinois about the extremity of our abortion laws and, in turn, saving lives. As always, we hope that you will join us in our efforts to win Illinois for Life!