What does a SCOTUS decision on Roe v. Wade mean for Maryland residents?

May 4th, 2022

ABC 7 News

Written by Brad Bell

As protests continue at the supreme court, pro-abortion rights activists and lawmakers in Maryland are stressing an eventual ruling by the court will not affect access to abortions in that state.

Montgomery County Delegate Arian Kelly, a Democrat, has been a leading advocate for abortion rights in the statehouse. She points out that Maryland legalized abortion with a referendum in 1992. More than 60% of Maryland voters approved what was called “Question 6” which prohibited “state interference with a woman’s abortion decision before the fetus is viable.”

“The most important thing for Maryland women is to know is their clinics are still open they’re gonna stay open they’re gonna be able to receive abortion care if they need to for the foreseeable future,” said Kelly.

But that creates another potential issue if other states outlaw abortions said another pro-abortion rights lawmaker, Senator Cheryl Kagan, (D)Montgomery.

“I hope it does not become a tourist destination for abortion but that’s gonna be part of our reality and we have to be ready for it,” said Kagan.

This is why she said the legislature overrode Governor Larry Hogan’s veto to pass Maryland’s new abortion care act.

Starting July 1, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and trained physician assistants are allowed to perform abortions. Most insurance providers will be required to pay for abortions with no copay, and the state will be required to provide $3.5 million per year for abortion care training. Delegate Kelly sponsored the bill.

“What we wanted to do is make sure is that women in Maryland don’t see a reduction in their access to care as we’re figuring out how to care for these out-of-state patients,” said Kelly.

Laura Bogley of Right to Life Maryland agrees that Maryland law is settled but said she’ll keep fighting taxpayer support for abortion. She is hoping Gov. Hogan won’t release the first batch of funding for the bill.

“Public policy should be supporting the lives of mothers and children, said Bogley. “And public funding should be prioritized to life-saving alternatives to abortion.”