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Poor American women who become pregnant after rape or incest are being denied access to abortion, according to Stephanie Poggi from the Centre for American Progress.

On AlterNet today, Poggi reports that legal protections that should allow women on Medicaid access to abortion in these circumstances are routinely flouted.

She says: “At least 9,100 abortions each year are attributed to pregnancies that occur because of forced sexual intercourse, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute. Yet, the vast majority of states that only cover abortion under the narrow exceptions report zero payments in any given year. In fiscal year 2001, the most recent year for which we have statistics, the number of abortions paid for by both federal and state Medicaid under the narrow exceptions totaled 81. This figure includes payments in cases of rape/incest, as well as in cases of life endangerment.”