Without the support of its governor, Maryland has become the first state to decide to make up the funds should there be any federal cuts to Planned Parenthood.
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan did not sign the bill, but nor did he veto it, and so the bill, which would allow women to have comprehensive health care coverage, became law, the Washington Post reports.
“Today, Maryland makes history ... unfortunately without the support of the governor,” state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery), who sponsored the bill to fund Planned Parenthood, told the Post. “While I wish our state didn’t need to fight the attacks on comprehensive health care by Congress, we are proud to stand up and protect access in Maryland.”
If the federal government cuts funding, the new law will protect access to preventive health care for some 25,000 Planned Parenthood patients at nine health centers in the state, the Associated Press reports. The new measure, which is expected to take effect July 1, “would direct $2 million from Maryland’s Medicaid budget and $700,000 for the state’s general fund to family-planning services.” AP notes.
“In today’s political environment, Planned Parenthood is grateful for the support of our state legislature,” Karen Nelson, president of Planned Parenthood of Maryland, said. “As Marylanders, we must remember that a state solution does not change the fact that politicians in Congress are trying to prohibit millions of people from accessing care at Planned Parenthood.”