Maryland is the first state to pass a law that agrees to reimburse abortion chain Planned Parenthood if Congress passes, and President Donald Trump signs, legislation that eliminates its federal taxpayer funding.
The Democrat-led general assembly passed the measure, and Republican Gov. Larry Hogan made the decision not to veto it.
The bill provides for the state to direct $2 million from its Medicaid budget and $700,000 from its general fund to keep Maryland’s nine Planned Parenthood facilities in operation, reports CBS News, adding that nearly 25,000 people receive services at Planned Parenthood in the state.
“Today, Maryland makes history … unfortunately without the support of the governor,” said bill sponsor State Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr., a Democrat. “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.”
Karen Nelson, president of Planned Parenthood of Maryland, said the Maryland General Assembly “has done what is necessary to protect our patients who turn to Planned Parenthood for their health care.”
Opponents to the legislation cite that recent federal measures to eliminate Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding have also redirected those monies to other community healthcare centers that offer more expansive services. Charlotte Lozier Institute observes that, while there are only nine Planned Parenthood facilities in Maryland, there are 132 “better healthcare alternatives” in the state. Patients can find alternatives to Planned Parenthood at getyourcare.org, where they can enter the city, state, and proximity desired.
Planned Parenthood has been under investigation since the summer of 2015 after undercover journalists exposed an alleged fetal tissue operation. The allegations that Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted babies for a profit led to multiple congressional investigations. Ultimately, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Select Investigative Panel have referred Planned Parenthood Federation of America, several of the largest Planned Parenthood affiliates in the country, and three of their business associates in the fetal tissue procurement industry, to the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice for criminal prosecution.
Planned Parenthood performs more than 300,000 abortions per year and receives an excess of a half-billion dollars annually in taxpayer funding.
A recent Marist poll found that 61 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, including 40 percent of those who say they are “pro-choice” and 41 percent of Democrats.