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Meier and McFarlane find that Medicaid funding of abortions and public subsidies to family planning programs cause improved outcomes for maternal and infant health. These results provide an additional rationale for expanding public funding for abortions and family planning programs, including such procedures in the basic package or even as a preventive service under health care reform. On a methodological level, this editorial notes that Meier and McFarlane measure abortion policy by the number of funded abortions, rather than by state policy on the Medicaid funding of abortions. This measure confounds policy variation with variation in women's choice of abortion given an abortion policy, and is likely to overstate the true effects of state Medicaid funding of abortions on child health.

Originally published in: American Journal of Public Health, v. 84. no. 9, September 1994, pp. 1377-1378.

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