Impacts of introducing Medicaid abortion coverage in Maine on Medicaid-funded abortion and severe maternal morbidity and mortality
Awarded 2022
Emerging Scholars in Family Planning
Taehyun Kim, MS
University of Maryland

Taehyun Kim is a doctoral student at the University of Maryland Department of Health Policy and Management. Her broad research interest lies in abortion and contraceptive policy and health equity. More specifically, she aims to produce research evidence for policymaking that alleviates social and policy barriers to access to abortion and contraception. This interest was motivated by her experiences as a college activist in women’s rights at the time when abortion bans were most contentiously debated in her home country, South Korea. During her doctoral training, Taehyun has been working as a research assistant for evaluating the effects of Delaware Contraceptive Access Now and examined changes in abortion rates, contraceptive use, and abortion attitudes during the program implementation. Taehyun’s proposed project will examine the impact of expanding Maine’s Medicaid coverage on abortion on severe maternal morbidity. Medicaid’s coverage of abortion has significant implications for equitable access to abortion. However, the Hyde Amendment restricts federal spending on abortion, which results in the majority of states in the US do not cover abortion with Medicaid. Maine started covering abortion with Medicaid in 2020. Using Maine’s All-Payer Claims Data 2017-2021, the proposed research will compare the incidence of severe maternal morbidity before and after the coverage change, for Medicaid enrollees versus those with private plans. This project will be part of Taehyun’s dissertation that examines the effects of Medicaid abortion coverage changes on abortion rates, unintended birth rates, and severe maternal morbidity in the states that had coverage changes in recent years.