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Paul Stam 2There was time not that long ago in the North Carolina General Assembly in which anti-choice conservatives were at least willing to be minimally consistent with the their claims of being “pro-life.”

Take State Rep. Paul Stam, for instance.

Stam has been in the General Assembly for a long time. Prior to his current series of half a dozen terms, the Wake County Republican also served during the 1989-90 legislative session. It was during that initial term that Stam first made his name as a crusader for right-wing social causes and, specifically, a passionate opposition to abortion.

Now, flash forward to 2013 and see that things aren’t much different. Stam is still leading the anti-choice charge (and the anti-gay rights charge and the pro-death penalty charge).  Along with many of his conservative colleagues, Stam is doing everything he can to make abortion more inaccessible, prevent LGBT equality and revive the death penalty.

Here’s one important difference, however, Read More

We wrote a brief, which you can read here, about a Senate budget provision that will throw thousands of pregnant women off of Medicaid. The bill moves Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women from 185 percent of federal poverty level (about $21,000 per year for a single person) to 133 percent of federal poverty level (or about $15,000 per year for a single person).

The Senate also creates a small voucher program to help some of these women purchase private insurance, but the way the provision is written means that very few women, if any, will qualify for full coverage during their entire pregnancy.

Besides violating good sense, it also turns out that this provision violates federal regulation.

The federal rule regarding Medicaid eligibility says that states can’t cut the minimum income for pregnant women to qualify below what the state had authorized by July 1, 1989. This date was chosen because many states expanded Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women in 1988 and 1989.

In its 1989 budget (which became effective on July 1, 1989) the North Carolina legislature authorized Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women to increase to 150 percent of the federal poverty level. Although the increase to 150 percent of federal poverty level did not take effect until 1990, the higher rate was authorized by July 1, 1989.

That means that the North Carolina legislature, even if it is determined to kick pregnant women out of Medicaid, can’t set eligibility below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. This is just one more reason to delay or cancel this ill conceived plan until we understand its impact.

The following is an abstract of a study that appeared in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology more than 15 years ago. Would that it or some similar study was required reading for all American politicans.

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: We attempted to determine the national rape-related pregnancy rate and provide descriptive characteristics of pregnancies that result from rape. STUDY DESIGN: A national probability sample of 4008 adult American women took part in a 3-year longitudinal survey that assessed the prevalence and incidence of rape and related physical and mental health outcomes. RESULTS: The national rape-related pregnancy rate is 5.0% per rape among victims of reproductive age (aged 12 to 45);

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