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Mother sues Nebraska for prenatal care for her unborn child

Remember the Nebraska case last year when the state removed funding for prenatal care for undocumented immigrant women?

A mother in Nebraska has filed a lawsuit claiming that her child is being unlawfully denied assistance for medical care that he or she is entitled to under CHIP and Nebraska's Children's Medical Assistance Program. CHIP defines "child" as "an individual under the age of 19 including the period from conception to birth." (42 C.F.R. § 457.10).

A pregnant woman who is in the country illegally has filed a class action lawsuit contending the state of Nebraska cannot deny prenatal care to her unborn child.

“Sarah Roe,” who is nine months pregnant, argues the state can deny medical services to her, but not to her unborn baby – or to anyone else’s unborn baby, regardless of the mother’s resident status.

A state law that took effect in June denies free prenatal services to any “ineligible alien.” Roe acknowledged that she falls within that category.

However, Nebraska defines someone as a child from the time of conception until they are 19, the lawsuit said. And federal regulations say unborn children are neither citizens nor aliens.

Lawsuit: Prenatal services cannot be denied to the unborn

If the unborn are defined as children under the law, then they should be eligible to receive healthcare, argues the lawsuit. We agree. It's pro-life to provide prenatal care to children no matter what their mothers' immigration status.