I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Paula Johnson that, when it comes to reproductive health care, we do have it pretty good here in Massachusetts (“Roe v. Wade 40 years later: advances in reproductive health,” G section, Jan. 22). Ibis Reproductive Health’s research on women’s access to contraception and abortion after Massachusetts health reform shows that increasing the number of people with health insurance, and including coverage of contraception and abortion in private and public health insurance plans, makes it possible for women to implement their personal medical decisions and get the care they need, regardless of their economic situation.
On the other hand, women trying to get access to care in states where insurance coverage of abortion is severely restricted face significant obstacles. They report having to sell possessions, shut off heat, fall behind on other bills, or forgo food or clothing for children in order to raise the money they need to pay for an abortion.
To make reproductive rights a reality for all women, not just those with money in their pockets, federal and state policies should follow the Massachusetts example, and contraception and abortion should be covered in all insurance plans.