ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS: California Supreme Court Blocks Prenatal Funding Ban
Today's Los Angeles Times notes that "Pete Wilson's tenure as governor may well close without implementation of one of his most dogged pursuits: the end of state-subsidized care for tens of thousands of pregnant illegal immigrants." Wilson's plan was stymied by the California supreme court's unanimous decision Wednesday to uphold a lower court's ban on the measure until a trial can be held, currently scheduled for Nov. 24. The supreme court decision "caps a series of legal challenges to Wilson's contention that illegal immigrant women do not merit public aid" for care during pregnancy, except in cases of emergency. Robert Newman, an attorney with the Western Center on Law and Poverty who is co-counsel in the challenge, called on Wilson to "end his campaign against poor women and their children and let his successor in office decide the policy." Wilson, whose tenure ends Dec. 31, "vowed to fight on and is pursuing an expedited trial." Wilson spokesperson Ron Low said, "We believe we can win this case on the merits." Medi-Cal paid $83.7 million in prenatal care for illegal immigrants in FY 97, according to the governor's office. Click here for more California Health Line coverage of the proposal to end prenatal care for illegal immigrants.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.