Abortion debate turns to fight over funding in Maryland – NBC4 Washington
A new law in Maryland allows the state to expand its pool of abortion providers this summer, but the money for the training they need won’t come for more than a year.
In April, Maryland lawmakers passed the Abortion Care Access Act and voted to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto. The measure states that physician assistants, nurse practitioners and midwives can perform abortions.
The bill comes into force in July. But the money needed to train these providers is not due until 2024.
As the Supreme Court is set to overturn Roe v. Wade, some lawmakers say funding is needed now.
“If as many as 26 states ban or severely restrict abortion, we know that means patients will come from out of state to Maryland,” Democrat Ariana Kelly, who represents the county, told News4. of Montgomery.
Hogan was asked Tuesday if he would release the funds sooner. He says he won’t move.
“What this bill has done is reduce the quality of care and allow people who are not doctors to perform abortions. It was not in the budget. There is no money to unlock,” Hogan said.
Dr. Carolyn Sufrin, OBGYN and Physicians for Reproductive Health fellow, said a delay could prevent the state from meeting patient needs.
“So Maryland is already kind of behind the 8-ball, even before this imminent threat and the likely possibility of Roe being knocked down. So that had to happen already,” Sufrin said.
Sufrin says if training funding can be secured, it will be used immediately.
“There are people who want to be trained who need to be trained and can be trained to provide this safe and necessary health care,” Sufrin said.
Kelly said public pressure is the best hope for funding.
She knows both sides have deep roots, but thinks this is an opportunity for some bipartisanship.
“Whichever side you are on the abortion debate, I guarantee there is a consensus that if someone has chosen to have an abortion, we don’t want them to have to wait 6 or 8 more weeks. It’s in nobody’s interest,” she said.
If Governor Hogan remains unswayed, the fight will likely drag on until November, when the state elects a new governor.