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Maryland Democrats Override GOP Governor’s Veto of Abortion Access Expansion

Maryland Democrats Override GOP Governor’s Veto of Abortion Access Expansion

Pro-choice advocates claimed a couple of small victories late this week with legal challenges to new restrictive abortion laws in Idaho and Maryland.

While the Idaho Supreme Court has temporarily blocked the state’s abortion ban, Maryland’s Democratic House majority was able to override a veto of a measure to expand access to abortion in the state signed into law by its Republican Governor, Larry Hogan. Maryland will end a restriction that only physicians can provide abortions. The new law will enable nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physician assistants to provide them with training. It creates an abortion care training program and requires $3.5 million in state funding annually. It also requires most insurance plans to cover abortions without cost. The insurance provisions apply to all policies, contracts, and health benefit plans issued, delivered, or renewed in the state on or after January 1, 2022.

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 01: Abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court of the United States on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, in Washington, DC. The Justices will weigh whether to uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks and overrule the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Gov. Hogan wrote in his veto letter the legislation “endangers the health and lives of women by allowing non-physicians to perform abortions.” But nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physician assistants are all trained and certified, qualifying them to attend births and therefore also perform abortions.

The measure, which goes into effect on July 1st, comes at a time when the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court is weighing whether to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that banned states from outlawing abortion. If they do, at least 26 states are likely to either ban abortion outright or severely limit access, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization that supports abortion rights.

 

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