Bush administration allows states to call fetus 'unborn child' in order to cover mothers

Thursday, January 31st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A developing fetus may be classified as an ``unborn child'' eligible for government health care, the Bush administration said Thursday, giving low-income women access to prenatal care and bolstering the arguments of abortion opponents.

The plan will make a fetus eligible for health care under the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Because CHIP is aimed at kids, it does not typically cover parents or pregnant women.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson cited well-established data on the importance of prenatal care in explaining the proposal.

``Prenatal care for women and their babies is a crucial part of the medical care every person should have through the course of their life cycle,'' Thompson said in a statement. ``Prenatal services can be a vital, lifelong determinant of health, and we should do everything we can to make this care available for all pregnant women.''