Prenatal exams have become the newest addition to the abortion debate, now that Arkansas is making fetuses eligible for federally-funded health care benefits.
Under recently adopted guidelines in the state, the unborn child of a pregnant illegal immigrant can be considered an American citizen even before birth, and thus qualifies the mother for government-paid prenatal care.
Since Medicaid (search) doesn’t cover adults who are non-citizens, whether they’re in the U.S. legally or not, the unborn fetus will now have rights the mother doesn’t have, in addition to being considered an American citizen in the eyes of the federal government.
Starting July 1, Arkansas joins Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Washington in using Medicaid dollars for “undocumented alien unborn coverage.” The Arkansas Department of Human Services (search) says it’s not trying to make a political point on where life begins, but just trying to offer better health care.
Pro-choice advocates worry this could be a step toward outlawing abortion.
"The definition that the state of Arkansas is providing is that life begins at conception,"siad Marvin Schwartz of Arkansas Planned Parenthood (search).
Click here to watch a report by Fox News' Phil Keating.