(Courtesy Photo)

By J. J. McQueen,
Special to the AFRO

In 1973 America was introduced to an important part of the Women’s Movement, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113. It was the landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s right to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. The decision struck down many U.S. federal and state abortion laws. Laws that are constantly being debated today. 

The protections set forth by the court came at a time when decisions and conversations around women’s rights were unstable, and 49 years later, the debate is still alive. 

With advances in technology, better healthcare options, and greater access to case studies, Maryland lawmakers have made the decision to create more produce avenues and protections for women that decide to exercise their rights not carry full-term. With a 28-16 vote by the Maryland Senate, the bill is now set to be sent to Governor Hogan’s desk for the final stamp of approval. Governor Hogan’s position has never been one that supports abortion.     

However, HB0937 is the latest evidence that supporting women’s rights as well as backing for proper healthcare access is something that Maryland’s General Assembly deems important. 

The Bill establishes and ensures that there are a sufficient number of health professionals to provide abortion care, while establishing the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program Fund; which also provides certain requirements regarding abortion services. The provisions in the bill include coverage requirements for the Maryland Medical Assistance Program and insurers requiring the Governor to add in the annual budget bill $3.5 million towards the program’s need. 

While abortion is legal in the state of Maryland, there’s a major concern by Maryland legislators to reduce the risks of improper/illegal abortions. 

The added measures of protection for women’s choices are set to provide increased access to licensed, and sanctioned government agencies the ability to properly provide essential services to those in need. 

“Just because it’s legal on the books doesn’t always mean that there’s access, the Maryland General Assembly made sure that there will be access.” -Karen Nelson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Maryland.

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