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U.S. Judge Backs Part of Abortion Law Ruled Illegal

October 07, 1994|Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Poor women in Pennsylvania must continue to provide a police report documenting rape or incest to get a taxpayer-funded abortion, a federal appeals judge ruled Thursday.

Judge Carol Los Mansmann of the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked a lower court decision overturning a portion of the state's restrictive abortion law.

The decision "means we can keep operating under the law as the Legislature enacted it," said Robert Gentzel, spokesman for state Atty. Gen. Ernie Preate Jr.

In September, U.S. District Judge John P. Fullam had ruled that poor women seeking taxpayer-funded abortions do not have to produce a police report. Fullam also said the state could not require that two doctors certify an abortion is necessary to save a woman's life before Medicaid will pay for an abortion.

Fullam said those sections of the law are improper because they are more restrictive than the federal Hyde Amendment.

No date has been set for the hearing on the state's appeal of Fullam's decision.

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