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Maryland abortion bill veto overridden by Democrat-controlled General Assembly

Expanded abortion access is coming to Maryland.

On Saturday, the Democrat-controlled General Assembly overrode Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto on House Bill 937, the Abortion Access Care Act, which expands the list of qualified abortion medical professionals to include nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, physician assistants and provide them with training to carry out the procedures.

The House voted 90-46 to override the veto, while the Senate voted 29-15.

The bill, which goes into effect July 1, would call for a yearly appropriation of $3.5 million to the Maryland Department of Health, according to the fiscal note attached to the bill. Funds would be used to administer the Abortion Clinical Care Training Program, and the dollars put into the program can’t be moved from it, under the bill. The bill would call for two community-based sites to be established for the procedures. In addition, most insurance plans will have to accept coverage under the bill.

Hogan announced the veto late Friday afternoon in a letter to House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones, D-Baltimore County, citing he was vetoing the bill to uphold his “commitment to take no action that would affect Maryland law where it concerns reproductive rights.”

Hogan wrote that House Bill 937 would endanger the health and lives of women “by allowing non-physicians to perform abortions” and alleges the bill “risks lowering the high standard of reproductive health care” already available in the state.

“Licensed physicians have a level of education and training not received by other types of healthcare professionals,” Hogan wrote in the letter. “Unlike nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, physician assistants, and license certified midwives, physicians are uniquely qualified to perform these procedures and resolve any medical complications should they arise.”

Under the bill, the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program would be expanded to ensure a sufficient number of health-care professionals receive education to performing abortions. It would also expand the racial and ethnic diversity of those trained in the program and provide for protecting abortion providers from civil and criminal penalties.

Del Emily Shetty, D-Bethesda, as reported by WBAL, said she supported the bill. Shetty, a mother who went through a high-risk pregnancy and is a sexual assault survivor, said the event would have “drastically changed my life if I had not been able to access the care that I needed at that time.”

One Republican lawmaker, Del. Haven Shoemaker, D-Westminster, said in the report that the bill was “the most radical expansion of abortion” in the state’s history and the state has “some of the most liberal abortion laws in the country.”

This article was originally posted on Maryland abortion bill veto overridden by Democrat-controlled General Assembly

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