Hogan withholds abortion education funds
Days after a leaked draft Supreme Court ruling that would overturn Roe v. Wade, Gov. Larry Hogan decided not to release the $3.5 million that state lawmakers have earmarked for the training new abortion care providers, delaying the start of the program until next year.
Hogan vetoed the Abortion Care Access Act, which created the program, last month, arguing that the training would endanger pregnant women. The General Assembly quickly overruled the veto.
Now, a spokesperson for Hogan has confirmed to the Baltimore Sun that he will withhold the funds, arguing that allowing non-doctors to perform abortion care would roll back women’s health standards.
Of the. Ariana Kelly, the Montgomery County Democrat who sponsored the bill, told WYPR that the governor’s logic is flawed because the measure has received broad support from the medical community. During the 2022 legislative session, the Maryland Chapter of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists identified the Abortion Care Access Act as a top legislative priority.
Kelly said delaying the launch of the program even by a few months could be extremely damaging.
“Once the Supreme Court makes a decision on Roe, if it goes the way we expect, we’re going to have increased demand in the state of Maryland,” Kelly said, “and that’s going to hurt health. women for both women in Maryland and women outside of Maryland if we don’t have enough trained providers.
Kelly also noted that the training is open to physicians, not just physician assistants and nurse practitioners, as is often said. Providing abortion care is part of the scope of practice of physicians, like family physicians, but this training is rarely found in their medical school curricula. These physicians could benefit from the training program.
“I don’t know anyone in the state of Maryland who thinks it’s a good idea for people to delay the abortion they’ve already decided to seek,” Kelly said. “I think delaying the program pretty much directly guarantees that we’re going to have longer wait times for people seeking abortion care.”