August 14, 1996 |
The federal government approved an Arkansas plan to use third-party payments--instead of Medicaid funds--to pay for abortions for indigent rape or incest victims. Federal approval was the last official step to keep Arkansas from being cut off from its $1 billion a year in Medicaid money. The money was threatened because of Arkansas' constitutional ban on state-funded abortions except in cases when the life of the mother is endangered. A pending lawsuit seeks to uphold that ban.