ANNAPOLIS, Md. ( Associated Press) — Republican Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of a measure to expand access to abortion in Maryland was overridden by the General Assembly on Saturday, which is controlled by Democrats.
The state will end the restriction that only doctors can perform abortions. The new law will enable nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and physician assistants to provide training. It creates abortion care training programs and requires $3.5 million in state funding annually. Most insurance plans are also required to cover a no-cost abortion.
Dale Emily Shetty said she was supporting the measure on the house floor as a mother who had experienced a high-risk pregnancy. She also described being a survivor of sexual assault in college and experiencing difficulties “with the weight of what happened after that incident.”
Shetty, a Democrat, said, “And thankfully, the incident did not result in a pregnancy, but if I had not been able to access the care I needed at that time, it would have changed my life drastically.”
Hogan wrote in his veto letter that the law “endangers the health and lives of women by allowing non-physicians to perform abortions.”
The measure comes at a time when a conservative majority in the US Supreme Court is weighing whether Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that banned states from prohibiting abortions.
If they do, at least 26 states are likely to either ban abortion altogether or severely limit access, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization that supports abortion rights. Is.
“In this context, it is very important that we take into account that the strategies this bill is using are making sure that people can access the care they need, when they need it, No matter what happens with the rest of the country — no matter what happens with the Supreme Court,” said Dale Ariana Kelly, a Democrat who was the main sponsor of the bill.
Republican lawmakers criticized the provision for allocating $3.5 million of taxpayer money annually to pay for training. Dale Haven Shoemaker, House Minority Whip, called the bill “the most radical expansion of abortion in the history of Maryland in a state that already has some of the most liberal abortion laws in the country.”
“Madam Speaker, this bill is too extreme for Maryland,” said House Speaker Adrienne Jones, a Democrat, a Republican shoemaker.
Kelly said the measure is modernizing the choice of state voters in 1992, when they approved abortion rights in a statewide vote, with 62% of voters supporting it.
“It’s making sure people have access to care, especially people of color, especially people with low incomes, especially rural people,” Kelly said. “We know that physician restrictions only increase health disparities, and we are trying to reduce health disparities in the state of Maryland with this bill.”
This measure is effective from 1 July. The insurance provisions apply to all policies, contracts and health benefit plans issued, distributed or renewed in the State on or after January 1.