Objective: To assess the increased public assistance costs resulting from Michigan's 1988 ban on Medicaid funding of abortions.
Methods: The increased number of births resulting from the Medicaid abortion funding ban was estimated. The costs of this increase in births to the state and federal governments were then calculated.
Results: Using low and high estimates for the numbers of additional children born as a result of Michigan's prohibition of Medicaid abortion funding (2120 and 5800), and the likelihood of these children's remaining on welfare, the 1991 cohort of infants will cost the state's taxpayers $23.1-63.2 million-several times the $6-7 million cost of the abortions, had they taken place. Including the federally paid share, total incremental costs are $50.2-137.4 million.
Conclusion: Those who have advocated banning Medicaid funding of abortions to reduce government spending, as in Michigan in 1988, have ignored the much greater cost of requiring that those pregnancies be carried to term. (Obstet Gynecol 1993;82:555-60)
(C) 1993 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists