Maryland governor says he won't release money for abortion training
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said he will withhold $3.5 million in state funds budgeted to train new abortion providers in the state, the Washington Post reports.
Driving the news: Hogan is rejecting a request from the state's comptroller to immediately make the money available as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to potentially overturn its precedents protecting abortion rights.
- State lawmakers had allocated the sum as part of Maryland's fiscal year 2023 operating budget so training could begin on July 1, as soon as the law took effect. But Hogan is not legally required to honor that, per the Post.
- Michael Ricci, a spokesperson for the governor, told the Post that the governor would not release the funds. Instead, he will release a version of the budget that "reflects the bipartisan agreement with legislative leaders, and includes $2 billion for their priorities."
Catch up fast: In April, Maryland lawmakers overrode a veto from Hogan on a measure allowing health professionals other than physicians — such as nurse practitioners, midwives and physician's assistants — to receive abortion training.
- Hogan said he vetoed the law because it "endangers the health and lives of women."
What they're saying: Hogan "firmly believes, as stated in his veto of this partisan measure, that non-licensed physicians should not be performing these medical procedures," Ricci told a local outlet in the state.
- "Suddenly releasing taxpayer dollars for this purpose would run counter to those concerns about setting back the standards for women’s health," he added.
- Ricci did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
Between the lines: Abortion rights advocates argue that it is necessary to have more health professionals trained on the procedure because more than 70% of Maryland's counties have no abortion providers, per the Guttmacher Institute.
- Maryland is one of the states that have codified abortion rights under state law. It is expected to become a go-to state for people traveling to access the procedure.