Maryland lawmakers override governor's veto to expand abortion access
Maryland lawmakers voted over the weekend to override Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of a bill that would expand abortion access and direct health insurers to cover the cost of getting the procedure.
The big picture: Maryland — where the right to having an abortion is already protected — is one of the states currently moving to make the procedure more accessible as the U.S. Supreme Court considers a case that could throw the future of Roe vs. Wade into question.
Catch up fast: Hogan vetoed the law on Friday, arguing that it "endangers the health and lives of women by allowing non-physicians" to perform abortions.
- "The only impact that this bill would have on women’s reproductive rights would be to set back standards for women’s health care and safety," Hogan added.
- While Hogan is a Republican, Maryland's two legislature chambers are overwhelmingly Democratic and had the necessary number of votes to override his veto.
Details: H.B. 937 would allow for health professionals other than physicians — such as nurse practitioners, midwives and physician's assistants — to receive specialized training to provide abortions.
- Under the bill, the state will set aside $3.5 million a year to train medical professionals to perform abortions, which advocates say is necessary because over 70% of Maryland's counties have no abortion providers, per the Guttmacher Institute.
- The legislation also directs insurers to cover "abortion care services" without "a deductible, co-insurance, co-payment, or any other cost-sharing requirement."
- The bill will take effect on July 1.
What they're saying: Maryland House Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk (D), who sponsored the bill, thanked her House colleagues for overriding Hogan's veto on Twitter, adding that "[i]t is imperative that we guide our policy by science."